While the rest of you have been away on your hols, chefs across the country have been working hard on their entries for The Hot Dinners and Chase Smoked Vodka Bloody Mary Challenge. And what entries they were. We've been totally impressed by the ingenuity shown in coming up with innovative Smoky Mary recipes and frankly it's been a tough old job whittling them down to a shortlist. But whittle we did and here are the six finalists that made the grade.
Each of them will be preparing their creations for a panel of expert judges (and us) at The Running Horse pub in Mayfair next month. What's at stake - apart from reputations - is the chance to win a stay at Chase's Provencal vineyard Chateau Constantin as well as a case of smoked vodka, a case of potato vodka, a case of GB gin and a case of Chase's new rose for the winning chef's restaurant. So keep tuned and we'll bring you all the fun from that evening - including the winner's announcement - next month.
"Chefs can be even harder to pin down than bartenders, but I'm delighted with the calibre of entries from world renowned chefs all over the UK.," says James Chase. "The Bloody Mary in my eyes has always been more of a meal than drink and that's why this competition was well suited for chefs, we have been amazed with what's been created, truly another level."
1. The Bloody Oyster
Popular London pop-up The Bloody Oyster devotes itself to two things only - oyster and "the perfect Bloody Mary", so it's probably no surprise that this oyster-led offering made our shortlist.
- 50ml Chase Smoked Vodka
- Clamato Juice and Bacon
- Holy Fuck Sauce
- Oyster Liquor
- Topped with a beautiful rock oyster and streaky bacon.
2. Ember Yard
This fourth restaurant in the Salt Yard group devotes its menu to cooking over wood and fire, so the fit with Chase's smoked vodka was a natural one.
- 50ml Chase Smoked Vodka
- 25ml Strega
- 200ml Slow Roasted San Marzano Tomato Juice
- Parmesan Mousse
- Parmesan Crisp
- Char Grilled Spiced Celery
- Courgette Fries
- Fennel and Parmesan Salt
3. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn
Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones has built a reputation for the drinks offering in his Wiltshire pub. We particularly loved his idea for dipping the glass rim in Exmoor salt and caviar.
- Chilled Watermelon
- Strawberries including Wild Strawberries
- Thai Basil
- Mini Cherry Isle of Wight Tomatoes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pickled Ginger & Vinegar blend add large measure
- 50ml Chase Smoked Vodka, blend again.
- Finish: Dip glass (preferable Riedel) in Exmoor Caviar Rock Salt, add spoon of Exmoor Caviar to the top of the Bloody Mary and serve.
4. The Little Gloster
Chef Ben Cooke prides himself on using local produce in his restaurant on the Isle of Wight and what better produce than Isle of Wight tomatoes for a Bloody Mary?
- 200 ml of house yellow gazpacho recipe (using Isle of Wight yellow tomatoes, horseradish, homemade celery salt, toasted coriander seeds, white pepper, Isle of Wight extra virgin rapeseed oil (you could use Isle of Wight tomatoes sunshine juice and flavour this like a Bloody Mary omitting the Worcestershire sauce and serve on the side as it turns it a brown colour if you mix it. We also use white pepper to keep the colour of the drink)
- 50ml Chase Smoked Vodka
- Dash of lemon juice
- Garnish - crispy own cured rare breed pancetta, Fennel top stick, blow torched cherry tomato and basil oil
Shake ingredients, adjust seasoning, strain and garnish
5. Tapas Revolution
Chef Omar Allibhoy is a Spanish chef on a mission to bring Spanish food and its culture to the UK - and his idea to infuse Chase smoked vodka with smoked chorizo was inspired.
- 50 ml smoked chorizo juice (Stir-fry the smoked chorizo with a chopped garlic love during 1 min approximately. Add 2 ltr of water and leave. Reduce for around 30 min. Strain and remove the fat.)
- 50 ml smoked chorizo infused Chase smoked vodka (Fry the smoked chorizo to get the fat off it. Once it’s cooked and still hot mix the fat with a little bit of vodka. Once the mix is cold, add the rest of the bottle of vodka.)
- 75 ml tomato juice
- 5 ml fresh lemon juice
- 10 ml fresh orange juice
- 5ml Pedro Jimenez sherry
- Dash of smoked pimenton
- Mix up cocktail.DON’T SHAKE.
Trained chef turned Group Operations Director at Marcus Wareing Restaurants Chantelle Nicholson came up with this bottled Smoky Mary for Tredwell's. We particularly like the sound of the guindilla pepper, chorizo and caperberry garnish.
- 75g celery
- 50g peeled carrot
- 225g overripe tomato
- 2g basil
- 2g coriander
- 8g fresh horseradish
- ½ tsp Maldon salt
- 10ml lemon juice
- 10ml rosemary infused extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml Chase smoked vodka
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Juice the celery, carrot, tomato, basil, coriander and horseradish. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half so you end up with 60ml of liquid. Chill, then add the other ingredients and bottle. Keep cold then shake and pour over ice when ready to serve. Garnish with guindilla pepper, chorizo and a caperberry.
Each of the above will be preparing their creations for a panel of expert judges (and us) at The Running Horse pub in Mayfair next month. Stay tuned for more news on that soon...