The Pompadour by Galvin is the flagship restaurant at the five star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.
Earlier this year, Chris and Jeff Galvin, the big bosses at the Pomp, named Daniel Ashmore as the new man to lead the team of chefs on a day to day basis.
Originally from Sheffield, Daniel’s previous appointment was Sous Chef at Number One at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.
Before that, he worked with Philip Howard at The Square in Mayfair and Restaurant Tom Aitkens.
Two names which will be very familiar to fans of TV cookery shows.
Daniel Ashmore: new Head chef at The Pompadour
We had lunch at The Pompadour and then had a chat with Dan about his cooking.
Since his appointment, Daniel has been creating new dishes as well as adding his own spin on the presentation of Galvin classics such as North Berwick crab lasagne and apple tarte Tatin.
‘I like to get nice ingredients and cook them with a bit of love,’ he explains. ‘We’ve got some beautiful tomatoes at the moment and we could do something to make them into a jelly and then make them look like a tomato again but why?’
Squab pigeon from Rungis market
‘We get the squab pigeon from Rungis market in Paris,’ says Dan. ‘We break them down, poach the breasts, roast them and add a little bit of heart and liver. Again, it’s quite fiddly, prepping the squabs, but you just have to do it systematically.’
North Berwick crab
‘This is a dish which revolves around the freshness of the crab. The crabs are from North Berwick. I stay just five minutes from where they are landed so I know the guy who pulls them from the water.’
The crab is bound with a mousse made from Skye scallops while the beurre Nantaise is flavoured with shallots, chives, star anise and a little chicken stock for body and richness.
Summery lamb dish
‘Lamb is coming into its own at the this time of year. The quality of the meat we get is fantastic. We get a lot of it from Cumbria. The lamb has this deep red colour and fantastic marbling. It almost looks like beef. We put a little mint in the pea purée to keep it fresh and then there are broad beans.’
This dish was very summery, In fact, it was almost spring-like in its freshness.
Pork and grapefruit
As well as a beautifully light piece of crackling, one of the stand-out aspects of this dish was an intense grapefruit flavour. Tart but sweet, it was a gorgeous match for the slight sweetness of the pork.
Dan told us how they prepped the grapefruit but we’re not sure we got all of it. It’s a long, complex process that involves blanching, blitzing, aeration, not one but two caramels and a couple of other steps that we missed.
Among other things, it is seasoned with Minus 8 Vinegar. It comes from Canada using grapes picked when the temperature drops below -8 degrees C. The grapes are used to make ice wine which is then made into ice wine vinegar.
No-one will ever attempt to do it at home but it does make apple sauce seem a little limp.
What’s got a hazelnut in every bite?Because you can never have too many hazelnuts.
Can you improve on Perthshire strawberries? Try this dessert before answering.