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My Favourite Dish: Michael Meredith, Merediths

My Favourite Dish: Michael Meredith, Merediths


Michael Meredith
Head Chef and Owner - Merediths

Smoked duck & beetroot meringue.

The dish I have chosen is on all our tasting menus at the moment. It started as a beetroot and ostrich salad with a duck liver parfais. As a salad on the menu it came as a third course. But you're always looking for a starter, something that is very light, and people can finish it in 1 or 2 mouthfuls. I kept thinking about somehow turning it into a little duck sandwich, with nicely toasted brioche, liver, slices of duck, a little bit of rocket and beetroot.

This sandwich idea kept bugging me, so I did tomato meringues and tried it with a little bit of liver. I thought 'wow its very light' - you eat it and it disappears in your mouth. The tomato meringues morphed into beetroot ones. We initially made big meringues but when we first served it in the restaurant, it was very soft texturally. I wanted people to grab it. But i noticed when it was slightly bigger, people didn't eat it straight away so it sat there and moisture gets to it and makes it sticky because of the sugar. So we had to play with the recipe a little bit just to take the sugar out a little bit and make it smaller.

The dish as it is now is two beetroot meringues that are slow-baked overnight, slices of smoked duck breast, duck liver on both sides, a little bit of pecorino and then rocket. So it's small, just 2 mouthfuls. The texture is great, it's light, when you eat it it just melts in your mouth. And then you get the sweet beetroot, the savoury liver/richness of the liver.

I think this dish is incredible - It's a memorable experience: you come in the restaurant, sit down, there's no cutlery, you get your little board with a napkin on it, and you get a meringue each, and you eat it. It's done. It's over. It's a nice starter and a great way to break the barriers of fine dining.

But it won't be on the menu forever. Once a dish has been reviewed i take it off the menu. The purity of a dish will not be true when it's been exposed like that. I want to expose people to other things. Having your own place means you can lead the experience you want people to have, and that experience is always changing.

What a fun way to kick off a tasting menu. Rich, delicate and quite unlike anything we've seen in fine dining recently. We love it!

As told to Jono Park.

For more from our My Favourite Dish series click here.

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Content updated: 23/02/2020 20:09

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