Some of you may already be familiar with the works of Dr. Owen Bain, the man behind Gourmet Focus.
His most recent pop-up event was held at The Adam & Eve in Homerton, themed ‘A Smart Meal’, with food by Chef Michael Harrison and The Cornwall Project.
There was the option to have wine pairing to complement our tasting menu – a chance to sample some natural wines, exclusivesly supplied by The Fox’s Knocker, at a bargain price of £17.50. It was not quite the weekend yet, but I’m sure a little bit of wine to wind down never hurt anyone…
Every meal should always start with some good bread and butter. I particularly loved that potato bread (The Flour Station’s finest, so I’ve been told!) – really great taste and texture. This was served with deliciously smooth Cornish butter, and a sunflower seed butter. This was the first time that I’ve tasted sunflower seed butter – it was naturally sweet without the need for added sugar, and really addictive. It was a bit like peanut butter, but even better…I finished an entire bowl on my own.
Now besides the fact that they taste great as a spread (or on its own!), sunflower seeds also have many health benefits. For example, they are a great source of vitamin E, B-complex vitamins and many essential minerals that play vital roles in our bodily functions.
We were then served some nibbles, made using the remaining cauliflower stalks, dipped in a taramasalata puree. A smart way of making use of leftover ingredients, and the taramasalata was great with the bread as well.
The first course was braised cauliflower with turmeric and kale. A really healthy looking dish, and I particularly liked the turmeric sauce which was really creamy. Known to many as the main spice for curries, turmeric also has many medicinal benefits due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is used to help treat conditions such as arthritis, heartburn and colds. Curcumin, an extract from turmeric root, has also been studied for it’s ability to improve ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Next up was the white fish soup, onion puree, asparagus and toasted rapeseeds. The soup was really warm and comforting, and I made sure to savour every single last drop from the little pot that it came served in.
I have heard of rapeseed oil, and have probably tried it at some point, but this is probably a first for me eating the actual seeds.
Rapeseed oil is known to be a healthy choice cooking oil due to its low saturated fat content (50% less than olive oil) and high in beneficial unsaturated fats.
Another nibble that was served was made using the skin from the mackerel dish that was to follow – very light and crisp.
The next dish was rather unique – oyster baked in beef fat with raw vinegar, tarragon and cracked wheat.
Oysters are high in protein, and loaded with minerals (zinc, iron, selenium – important for healthy cell function) and vitamins such as vitamin B12 which helps support nerve function.
I generally prefer my oysters fresh (which is strange as I never dared to eat oysters until about a couple of years ago…) but this actually tasted pretty good baked with that luscious beef fat, and I also liked the crunchy bits of wheat which gave it a bit of texture.
One of my favourite dishes was the seared mackerel served with fermented cabbage, smoked potato and green oil.
The fish was really fresh and perfectly seared, and those Keveral Farm potatoes were just stunning.
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and oily fish such as mackerel is known to have one of the highest contents of these essential nutrients that are known to improve brain function, enhance quality of life and lower the risk of premature death.
The fermented cabbage has a high content of good bacteria (lactobacillus sp. and bifidobacter) that can lead to an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
which stimulates the healthy development and production of your brain.
The last main course was the rib of beef with pickled walnuts, fresh curd, green pepper, carrot and rye. Chef Michael looked mighty please with that piece of beef (from Philip Warren Quality Butchers) and even brought it out for us to see it before it was cooked.
The longer grazing season in Cornwall enables their beef to be truly grass-fed naturally, which is healthier for the consumer as grass-fed beef is leaner and contains omega-3.
You may have to pay a higher price for it, but the long-term benefits are worth investing a bit more in yourself.
Somehow I managed to get one of the larger cuts of that beef – not that I ever complain about getting more food! Cooked medium rare with a lovely pink centre. I enjoyed the beef with the pickled walnut, but probably not together with the fresh curd on the side which I preferred eating separately.
Good quality foods, better performance levels.
And to finish off, some yoghurt with seasonal fruit, aerated custard and thyme.
Commonly eaten during breakfast, yoghurt is a great source of protein, calcium, potassium , vitamin B12, as well as good bacteria which again holds the key to better brain health.
Many of the health benefits of course do overlap with each other, and the list is by no means exhaustive. As the old saying goes, ‘We are what we eat’, and it is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our overall health and well-being.
Ending with the words of Dr. Owen Bain – Eat Smarter. Perform Smarter. Achieve More.
The Cheekster, signing out x