As the nights start to draw in, the change of season consequently heralds a new menu for Restaurant 1865.
“Autumn and Spring are such exciting times of the year in the kitchen. The start of spring and summer means soft fruits and delicious fresh produce.
“And for me autumn and winter emphatically means hearty root vegetables and braised dishes. We are bringing in the autumn with flavours that celebrate everything about this time of year,” explained Executive Chef, Simon Hartnett.
Planning for the new seasonal dishes basically began back in July, said Simon and the creation of the final menu was a team effort.
“It’s all about creating a balance of flavours and finding out what produce is available,” he said.
A keen supporter of Hampshire Fare, the organisation that champions local produce, Simon loves to use local produce wherever he can.
Our cream and duck eggs come from the Isle of Wight and Old Winchester cheese is made by the award winning Lyburn cheesemaker.
“Scallops are back on the menu as a starter and included in the main course offering of Pork Belly, Black Pudding & Scallop.
“We’ve got hearty, robust flavours with our Venison Scotch Egg served with spiced plum ketchup and celeriac remoulade.
“And in a throwback to the 1970s, we’ve even got a Knickerbocker Glory with a vegan option available on request,” he said.
Simon is Pompey born and bred. Even as a child he was fascinated by food and it was only natural that he become a chef.
He recalled: “From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a chef. I was fascinated by food as a child and when we went on holiday to France, I would use the pocket money I had saved to go round the food markets buying cheese and other treats.
“My Nan worked as a cook and because my mum worked long hours, I would always cook at home. I can remember being about 6 or 7 years-old making scrambled eggs and enjoying it.”
When we asked Simon what he enjoyed most about being Executive Chef, he didn’t miss a beat.
“I love coming to work every day to make people happy.
“Food is such a big part of what we do at the hotel and pushing every day to create great dining experiences really excites me. I also love developing young chefs within my team. I have been very lucky to have some amazing mentors during my career and trying to spot that talent and passion within young people is so rewarding,” he said.
13th October 2023