On 22 May The Change Group, Luxury Hospitality Recruitment Agency, in partnership with Hospitality Action, brought 12 of London’s finest restaurants together as they competed against each other to answer the ultimate question of which is better Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Meat, Fish or Veg?
Each ticket includes a meat dish, fish dish, veg dish and drink for £25 and more dishes can be purchased on the night.
Diners are then invited to vote for their favourite meat, fish and veggie dishes with winners in each category and an overall winner being awarded at the end of the night by a guest chef (this year it was Tom Aikens).
The night was a fundraiser event for Hospitality Action, a charity that offers vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis.
Their work supports people who might be suffering from life altering illnesses, experiencing poverty, bereavement and domestic violence or be isolated after retirement. The event raised much needed £8,822 and plans are already in place for next year’s session.
When we arrived, the night was in full swing and already packed, the atmosphere buzzing and relaxed.
Before heading towards the food stalls, we had a chance to have a chat with Jack Sotti, UK Tanqueray brand ambassador and the creative brain behind the night’s 3 pairing cocktails. Tanqueray London Dry gin was in fact one of the main sponsors of the event and featured in the three drinks on offer on the night.
These cocktails provide the perfect inspiration for drinks to serve at any summer parties or a BBQ. They are simple but elegant cocktails
Jack told us he had enjoyed the challenge of creating three summery drinks that would go well with a meat, a fish or a vegetable based dish. He also told us how varied and interesting his job is, as he gets to work with really interesting and up coming mixologists.
His current position with Tanqueray is the result of the experience he’s gained after winning the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year competition in 2015 in Australia where he lived at the time.
We decided to follow his advice and pick as our first drink the’veggie cocktail’: Tanqueray London Dry Gin Basil and Grapefruit Highball.
With our refreshing, delicate and floral aperitif in hand, we headed to get our first meat dish of the night, the Braised lamb shoulder with fresh sour cream, black garlic puree and roast artichokes by Frog Hoxton.
Both chef Jamie Park and chef Adam Handling were greeting guests at their stand, and we absolutely loved their dish which we were lucky to try before a power cut put everything on hold for them and a few other restaurants!
We also sampled Hawksmoor’s meaty Slow-braised ox-cheek bun (minus the bun, as they had run out!), which we found rich, flavoursome but also quite heavy and fatty.
Our favourite vegetarian dish of the night was the sweet, delicious Slow cooked smoky carrot, carrot bisque, jalapeno croutons by Michelin starred chef Alyn Williams, who was one of the first chefs in London to have a dedicated vegetarian tasting menus.
For our fish dish, we picked a light, spicy and tangy AtÃƒÂºn Chifa Ceviche Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Yellowfin tuna, soy, sesame seeds, shrimp cracker by Peruvian restaurant Coya, and we were definitely happy with our choice yet it turned out that the overall winners were in this category (Wright Brothers).
Meat vs Fish vs Veg is a really enjoyable, lively event with a great purpose, so we’re looking forward to next year already. In the meantime, why not try out the Tanqueray London Dry Gin Basil and Grapefruit Highball? Recipe is below:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Vegetables in their season need light fresh and herbaceous pairings to compliment them. Freshly torn basil with tomato and root veg is a perfect match, and the delicate bittersweet acidity of white grapefruit balances the soft sweetness of roasted veggiesÃ¢â‚¬Â, says Jack Sotti, Tanqueray Brand Ambassador.
Recipe – Serves 1 (1.7 units):
. Ã¢â€”Â 40 ml Tanqueray London Dry Gin Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
. Ã¢â€”Â 20 ml fresh pressed grapefruit juice Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
. Ã¢â€”Â 10 ml sugar syrup Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
. Ã¢â€”Â 1 sprig basil Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
. Ã¢â€”Â Slice of fresh grapefruit Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
. Ã¢â€”Â Top with soda Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
. Method Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
Muddle the grapefruit juice, sugar syrup and basil in the base of a highball glass Ã¢â‚¬Â¨
Add in the Tanqueray London Dry Gin then fill with cubed ice, top with soda, and Ã¢â‚¬Â¨garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of basil for the perfect touch. Ã¢â‚¬Â¨