Award Winning Pub & Restaurant
Cublington LU7 0LQ - Tel: 01296 681261

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Come Dine With Us – the Final Results

Another brilliant competition with the standard again very high was ended last night (the 24th) with the
winning dishes from three heats being prepared by the Unicorn chefs.

The three starters this year were all of a very high standard. Team one produced a hearty autumn soup –
Pumpkin and Coconut – with an amazing zing, served with a beautiful curry scone with a fresh coriander leaf baked in. Very clever!

Team two created a balanced east-west concept of a filo parcel filled with paneer cheese infused with chilli and garlic mushrooms accompanied by a seasonal, beautifully balanced chutney. Wow!
Team three won the show however with their mussels in spicy broth. Well spiced with a beautiful build
up of flavour and a good balance of fresh coriander. Beautifully presented, the mussels ( or mushrooms)
complemented the broth beautifully- a winning combination!

All three mains were both tasty and of a seasonal nature. Team one presented a strong contender with a
hunters chicken casserole with mash and seasonal veg. Tasty but perhaps overall too much!
Team two presented a seasonal and adventurous dish of venison which was perfectly cooked but lacked gravy. A well done champ but undercooked carrots!
Team three had a lot going on with flavours of pork, pancetta, sage and apricot served with a perfect crackling!
Perfect veg complementing the strong flavours made this the winning main!
The winning vegetarian option came from team one with a goats cheese and red onion tart with perfect pastry.

Team one presented a wonderful white chocolate cheesecake with a lovely meringue twist!
Team two created a winning combination of chocolate and biscuit base with an apple Ice cream served with a fruit coulis, fresh blackberries and a ginger snap. Totally excellent and could grace any west end restaurant in the judges’ opinion! Team three cooked a wonderful rendition of a true classic- tarte tatin – all the plates were cleared. Good effort!

But overall best dish of the competition was felt to be team two’s dessert. Sophisticated and stylish.
Well done to all the teams who participated but the overall winners were team three – led by Tim Harwood including Simon and Vanessa Morgan and Miranda Gregory.

Over £500 was raised for charities including mustbmad, the Philippines disaster fund and Florence Nightingale Hospice. Thank you to all the teams who entered- a daunting task to serve a three course restaurant standard meal to fifty paying customers! Watch out for a competition twist next year! Sign up if you’re interested right now!

Well done to all the chefs who participated!

Come Dine With Us a Huge Success!

You will have seen Masterchef and Come Dine With Me on the TV. It’s a combined concept, but transferred to the Unicorn Pub and Restaurant. For the third year running the Come Dine With Us Chef charity challenge is on… last year, customers raised over £1000 for charities chosen by the competing teams.

Volunteer teams of up to four ordinary people cook a three course menu plus vegetarian option for up to fifty paying customers in the Unicorn kitchen under chef guidance. Previous winners have surprised and surpassed expectations, producing excellent menus. Last year Team GB: Steve and Becky George and Gary and Jenna Brazier tied with the Cutthroats for the prestigious prize of a chef’s apron!

Over the course of a whole month and four Sunday evenings, 4 volunteer amateur teams took part in the second annual charity Come Dine With Us Chef Challenge at the Unicorn.

All four teams were comprised of amateur cooks who were brave enough to try their hand at serving a 3 course menu to 50 paying customers of the Unicorn, who themselves were willing to take the risk! They needn’t have worried as guests were served up with a stunning variety of dishes, some truly fit to grace the tables of any 2 AA rosette restaurant! Judging was based on various criteria, including, budget, taste, presntation, speed of service, heat of food and menu balance, including a vegetarian option.

In all, 3 teams offered soup, but all were very different, though in the judges opinion the best was from The Three Sopranos team – Pumpkin Soup with Ginger & Coconut Milk. 2 teams offered appetisers, the winning dish being the Cutthroats Crispy Pork in Lettuce Cups with Chilli Lime Sauce & Sweetcorn and Paneer Fritters with sweet chilli dipping sauce.

The main course over the 4 weeks all comprised different meats, including Pork, Beef Duck and Pheasant – all obviously out to impress. However the one that impressed the most was Team GB’s Slow Cooked Leg of Duck with Apricot & Thyme Sauce served with Dauphinoise potatoes & French Beans.

All four teams opted for a cold dessert – clearly with an eye on how long it took to prepare everything in the limited time available. The winning dish was Louises’ Syllabub with Fresh Berries – a dessert that looked naughty but was really very light. and tasted beautiful in the judges opinion.

A final evening was held on December 2nd, with all the winning dishes being prepared by the Unicorns very own award winning chefs.

Overall the judges said the following about the whole competition:

It is a brave step to leave the comfort of your kitchen, cooking for a small dinner party, to enter a strange, commercial kitchen to prepare a menu for 50 or 60 strangers. This is what our four teams have done over the last few weeks. They have taken us on a fascinating culinary tour from traditional British cuisine, through Europe and on to Asia. There may have been a few bumps in the road, but, overall, it has been a very enjoyable foody trip. Congratulations to all for their culinary courage.

Selecting an overall winner this year has proved impossible. Instead we have a dead heat with two teams presenting really attractive and well constructed menus. Our joint winners are Team GB and the Cublington Cutthroats. Team GB showed real skill in putting together a menu of favourites that all looked and tasted good. The Cutthroats embarked on an Asian odyssey which was both adventurous and complex to create. They succeeded and gave us some exciting & different dishes.

Eric Arnaud and Les Aubergistes coming this January

The French are Back! Lunch Friday 10th January – Lunch Sunday 12th
Welcome back to Eric and his compatriots who will again delight us with the cuisine from the Drome region in France. Make sure you book early as there are only 5 services, starting on Friday lunchtime and ending on Sunday Afternoon.