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1tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1kg chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
200g peeled roasted chestnuts, halved
50ml measure Cognac
1tsp English mustard
2tsp smoked paprika
500ml Essential Cuisine Premier Rich Vegetable Jus (made up to instructions)
400ml sour cream or crème fraiche 1 lemon
a good twist of freshly ground pepper
sea salt


  1. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, add the onion and garlic, gently fry until tender but without too much colour.
  2. Add the mushrooms, continue cooking for 5 minutes until the mushrooms soften and start to colour. Stir in the mustard and paprika, deglaze with the Cognac and flame.
  3. Pour in the Essential Cuisine Premier Rich Vegetable Jus, bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and remove from the heat, squeeze in the juice from the lemon.
  4. Season to taste with the freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Spoon onto braised wild rice, garnish with a spoon of sour cream on top and strips of gherkin.
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4 large glazed brioche hot dog rolls

8 medium sized venison sausages


For the chutney:

25g butter

2 red onions, finely chopped

75g medium brown sugar

3 Cox’s apples, halved, cored and finely chopped

2 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves


For the crispy bubble and squeak:

450g waxy potatoes, par-boiled

55g butter

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

150g kale, washed and shredded

85g black pudding, fried and crumbled



  1. Fry the venison sausages until golden and cooked through.
  2. Heat the butter in a saute pan and add the onion. Cover and cook gently for 6 – 7 minutes until softened. Remove lid and fry until golden. Add the sugar, apples, vinegar, thyme and cook over a medium head for 8 minutes or until the apple is just cooked but still holding its shape. Turn up the head and allow to bubble for a few minutes until sticky and the liquid all absorbed. Season well to taste.
  3. Crush the potatoes with the back of a fork. Heat the butter and oil in a saute pan, add the potatoes, cook until golden and crisp. Season well. Add the kale and cover with a lid. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until just wilted. Season and top with crumbled black pudding.
  4. To serve, split the brioche rolls along the top and arrange two sausages in each. Top with chutney and serve with the bubble and squeak on the side.
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350g peeled chestnuts, peeled
milk to cover
100g dark chocolate
50g icing sugar
350ml whipping cream


  1. Place the peeled chestnuts in a small pan and cover with milk and allow to simmer until all the milk is absorbed.
  2. Then pass the chestnuts through a mill or ricer into a bowl. Add the melted chocolate and icing sugar, pack into the bowl and leave to chill for at least an hour.
  3. When ready to serve, take the purée and put it through the ricer again letting it fall into the bowls like a mountain (monte). Put a spoonful of whipped cream on top (bianco) and dust with icing sugar “snow”. Note: some people add a little cognac to make it extra special.
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Christmas Pudding base –

250g dried mixed fruits with apricot and passion fruit
175g stoned dates
85g dried cranberries
1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
100g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
100ml Cointreau or Grand Marnier
100g dark muscovado sugar
Grated zest and juice of a large orange
50g self-raising flour
85g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
85g pecan nuts

Souffle Mix-

80g egg white
40g caster sugar
120g Christmas pudding base




  1. Soak the dried fruit, dates and cranberries in the Grand Marnier or Cointreau for 12 hours.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs until fully combined.
  3. Mix the soaked fruit and the remaining liquor into the batter, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Once all of the ingredients are combined, spoon the mixture into a greased medium pudding bowl and cover. Steam the pudding for 4 hours and remove.
  5. Once the pudding is cool, remove 120g of the cake and blend to make a smooth paste
  6. For the Souffle- Whisk egg whites slowly with a pinch of salt and 1/3 of sugar.
  7. Add the rest of the sugar until soft peaks are formed.
  8. Heat up the Christmas pudding mixture over a bain marie, this starts the cooking process.
  9. Remove the bowl from the heat and add a small amount of the whipped egg white by whisking (this will lighten the mixture and make it easier to work with)
  10. Gently fold in the remaining egg white, making sure you don’t knock the air out of the mixture.
  11. Fill your soufflé ramekins to the top and smooth off with a palette knife.
  12. Bake in a pre-heated 180°C oven for eight minutes, without opening the door. They should rise at least 3cm above the top of the ramekin. Serve immediately.
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From footballer to foodie, Ben Murphy has risen through the ranks at breakneck speed to secure the head chef role at Launceston Place in London. He chatted to Stir it Up about his meteoric rise…

Your original career plan was to become a professional footballer. Tell us about that.

As a young boy my dream was to become a professional footballer, and I was on the right track until I broke my collarbone at age 16, which took me out the game completely. To this day, I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I guess if I didn’t break my collarbone, my direction would have been very different, but I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without it happening.

How did your football training help your subsequent career as a chef?

Food technology was the only subject I enjoyed/turned up to at school. I gained a buzz from doing practical lessons, but always struggled on the academic side. Football training helped me gain the discipline, focus, patience and most importantly the work ethic I needed to be successful as a chef.
The Michelin Guide describes your dishes as “big on originality and artfully presented”.

From where do you draw inspiration for your dishes?

Flavour for me is the most important part of cooking, followed by presentation. Guests eat with their eyes, and if something doesn’t look appealing, I’d already be losing. My team and I create menus which evolve with the seasons and are big on flavour, but presented beautifully and consistently (even with a fully booked restaurant). I’ve learnt to stay within arm’s length of what I know and what I feel I’m good at.

In an age of Instagram, is presentation becoming more important that actual taste?

I feel Instagram is a great platform for visual aspects of food and it’s all about judging the appearance of a dish. Half my followers on Instagram have dined or are planning to come and taste my food. On my Instagram, the photos are taken just before the plate arrives at the table, so what you see is what you get when you eat in the restaurant.

How important are student competitions to aspiring chefs?

I was always involved in competitions at college. It’s great for networking, but most importantly it helped me build confidence and improve my work ethic, while working under pressure.

How did the publicity of winning the Breakthrough Chef of the Year and Chef to Watch accolades help secure your latest appointment?

Winning the awards was great. It helped put me on a platform with other chefs who are pushing hard in the industry also. I got lucky with my appointment at Launceston Place. But lucky in the sense that D&D have invested money and time into the team and me. Hopefully this will pay off soon.

As a young head chef, is it difficult to manage sous chefs who are older than you? What tactics do you employ?

Lucky for me, I’ve never had a problem with staff shortage or management in that way. My team are amazing. I treat them all with respect and ensure they only work four days per week, which does mean I have to work a section, but I enjoy doing it. This means they are well rested, and always push hard and remain focused when they are in the kitchen, which is always the case. I’ve had nearly the same team for over two years now.

You’re being lauded as the man to regain the Michelin star at Launceston Place. How important is that to you – and how do you intend to achieve it?

I have no idea. I’ve never achieved one before so I honestly couldn’t say. We just continue to improve what we do every day.


What is the single most useful piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

My mentor Pierre Koffmann says: “Cook what you love to eat”.

You’ve been quoted as saying “Chefs interacting is the next big thing in dining”. What is the experiential dining experience for customers at Launceston Place?

I really do think so. When I eat out, there is nothing better than meeting the person who has spent hours cooking your food. It’s a little touch that guests remember and I feel it makes everyone’s experience that little bit more special.

Traditional Christmas dinner – or thinking outside the box. What will be featuring on your festive menu this Christmas?

I will be putting grouse and venison on my menu. I’ll save the turkey for my mum when I’m off for Christmas.

And now for three questions that we ask all of our Leading Lights…

1. What are your three kitchen secrets?

“I have a sign in the kitchen to remind my team to love and perfect what they do, to focus, and to give 100% at all times (as well as my motto ‘Keep it Moving!’).

2. What is your favourite ingredient and why?

Salt – without seasoning food, most of the ingredients we cook with would be bland!

3. Please could you share your favourite festive recipe, along with your reasons for choosing it?

My Christmas Pudding Soufflé recipe as it hasn’t been done before, and you get the flavour of Christmas pudding but with a lighter texture.

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  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the pasta until al dente, refresh, drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, dill and crushed chillies, stir in half the cheese.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil, over a medium heat, add the broccoli and cook for around 5 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper then add the pasta, roasted pepper, sun blush tomatoes and pesto, tossing together. Slowly add the egg mixture into the pan and cook for around two minutes until the egg mix has started to cook around the edges.
  5. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top and bake for 15 minutes until the egg mix is cooked through.
  6. Top the frittata with the Parma ham, avocados, and cherry tomatoes and serve immediately.
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250g ribbon rice noodles

50g garlic cloves, finely chopped

50g red chilli seeds removed, finely chopped

2 limes (for zest and juice)

80ml vegetable oil

800g diced chicken thighs, skinless

250g spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

500g prawns

250g beansprouts

100ml thai fish sauce (nam pla) or to taste

50g palm sugar, use light soft brown sugar if unavailable

25g Essential Cuisine Aromatic Stock Base

5 large eggs, beaten

100g fresh coriander, chopped

10 lime wedges


  1. Cook the noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions then drain them and set aside
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, add the garlic, red chilli and lime zest, fry for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes aromatic
  3. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add a drop of water to stop the spices burning. Cook for a further 2 minutes, until the liquid has disappeared and the chicken completely cooked
  4. Add the prawns, half of the spring onions and half of the beansprouts followed by the drained noodles and mix through. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, Essential Cuisine Aromatic Stock Base and brown sugar and cook for two minutes
  5. Pour in the beaten eggs and mix through the noodles until just cooked. Tumble the noodles out onto warmed serving plates and serve garnished with the coriander leaves, lime wedges, and the remaining spring onions and bean sprouts
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700ml tomato ketchup

300ml gluten free soy sauce

50g Essential Cuisine Asian Master Stock Base

5g cayenne

5g smoked paprika

5g chinese five spice

100ml honey


  1. Place all ingredients in a suitable pan and gently bring to the boil over a medium heat
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Cool and store in the refrigerator in a suitable container
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30 boneless chicken thighs, skin removed, cut into large strips

First Coating

150g plain flour

50g cornflour


375g self raising flour

25g cornflour

10g salt

300ml chilled water

1ltr Korean BBQ Sauce


  1. Pre-heat fryer to 160°C
  2. Mix the flour and cornflower together to make the first coating, dust the chicken shaking off the excess. This coating will enable the batter to stick to the chicken
  3. To make the batter, mix the dry ingredients together and blend together with the water until a texture of double cream is achieved
  4. Dip the chicken in the batter and allow any excess to drip off over the bowl before carefully placing in the hot oil. Fry for 8-10 minutes, ensure the chicken is cooked, however the batter should be light in colour, drain on kitchen paper
  5. Turn the fryer up to 190°C and re-fry the chicken for a further 2 minutes or until golden in colour and crisp. Check the chicken is thoroughly cooked through and heated to required core temperature
  6. Serve with the Korean BBQ sauce
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100g Essential Cuisine Miso Broth Base

25ml sake, if unavailable use white wine

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

25g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

25g caster sugar

50ml rice wine vinegar

10 cod fillets (between 150-170g, keep skin on)

50ml vegetable oil

Lemon or lime wedges (optional)

50g chopped coriander


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4 (160°C fan)
  2. To make the marinade, mix the Essential Cuisine Miso Broth Base, sake, garlic, ginger, sugar and rice wine vinegar together in a non-metallic bowl
  3. Add the fish to the marinade, cover with cling film and place in the fridge preferably for a minimum of two hours
  4. Lightly oil a non-stick baking tray. Place the fish, skin-side down onto the baking tray. Spoon over two tablespoons of the marinade and then bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of fish
  5. Serve on a suitable plate and garnish with chopped coriander and lemon or lime wedges
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25ml vegetable oil

50g root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

5 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised

100g spring onions, sliced

1 cinnamon stick

250g carrots, peeled and chopped

250g celery, peeled and chopped

500g beef brisket joint

100g Essential Cuisine Master Stock Base

2.5ltrs water

1kg fine rice noodles, cooked to manufacturer’s instructions


  1. Prepare ingredients as directed. Heat the oil in a suitable pan over a medium heat, add the ginger, spring onions and sweat for 4-5 minutes
  2. Add the vegetables and cinnamon stick and sweat for a further 5–6 minutes
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the beef is cooked and the broth is fragrant
  4. Remove the beef, shred and return to broth, check seasoning
  5. Divide the noodles into warm bowls and pour over the hot broth
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100g Essential Cuisine Miso Broth Base

2l boiling water

400g button mushrooms, sliced

250g spring onions, sliced

300g brown rice noodles

200g watercress, roughly chopped

400g tofu, cut in small cubes

400g chinese cabbage

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a suitable pan dissolve the Essential Cuisine Miso Broth Base in the boiling water and add the mushrooms and spring onions, simmer for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add the noodles, stir and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until the noodles are cooked
  3. Add the tofu, watercress and cabbage, gently stir and bring back to the boil
  4. Season as required and serve in warm bowls
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2kg pork shoulder, skin removed and fat trimmed

50g honey

50g Essential Cuisine Master Stock Base

50g ginger root, peeled and sliced

100g red onion, peeled and finely sliced

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

200ml water

500g kimchi (korean fermented cabbage)

600g basmati rice (optional)

30-40 small gem lettuce leaves, washed

5 radishes, thinly sliced

200g carrots, julienne

50g sesame seeds

50g coriander, chopped

100g spring onions, finely sliced


  1. Mix the honey and Essential Cuisine Master Stock Base together and rub the marinade all over the pork (this can be done the day before). Refrigerate pork until required
  2. Pre-heat oven to 140°C. Place pork in a suitable tray and add the ginger, onion, garlic and water. Cover with foil and cook for approximately 3 hours or until thoroughly cooked, basting occasionally with the cooking juices
  3. Once the pork is cooked, remove from the oven to rest. Strain off the cooking juices into a suitable pan removing the aromas. Gently reduce the cooking juices by two thirds
  4. Boil the rice in salted water to manufacturer’s instructions, drain when cooked
  5. While the juices are reducing shred the pork on a suitable tray and pour the reduced cooking juices and thoroughly mix with the pork
  6. To serve place portions of pork, rice, lettuce, kimchi, radish, carrots and spring onions on a suitable platter
  7. Top with fresh coriander and sesame seeds
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50ml sesame oil

300g carrots, peeled and cut into fine strips

300g norimaki, shredded

300g courgettes, cut into fine strips

600g beansprouts

250g water chestnuts

400g shiitake mushrooms, washed and sliced

1kg cold rice, cooked in Essential Cuisine Aromatic Stock Base

50ml gluten free soy sauce

50ml water

50g Essential Cuisine Master Stock Base

100g spring onions, finely sliced

10g cracked black pepper

10 eggs

100ml vegetable oil

200g bamboo shoots


  1. Heat the sesame oil in a suitable wok over a medium heat, add the carrots and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the courgettes, beansprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts mushrooms and greens and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften
  2. Stir in the rice, soy sauce, Essential Cuisine Master Stock Base, water, spring onions and black pepper, fry for 4-5 minutes or until the rice is heated through to the required temperature
  3. n a separate frying pan heat the oil over a medium heat, fry the eggs turning once ensuring the yolk is runny
  4. Serve the rice dish in warmed bowls and top with the fried egg
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200g onion, roughly chopped

50g fresh root ginger, peeled

5 garlic cloves, peeled

50g turmeric

6 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped

80ml vegetable oil

2 cinnamon sticks

10 cardamom pods, gently crushed

1.5kg braising steak, diced into 2cm cubes

2 limes, zest & juice

1ltr coconut milk

50g Essential Cuisine Aromatic Stock Base

50ml tamarind paste

50g toasted desiccated coconut

Garnish with shredded kaffir lime leaf and red chilli

Boiled jasmin or basmati rice, to serve


  1. Make the spice paste by blending the onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and chillies in a food processor with a splash of oil
  2. On a medium heat, add the oil and paste into a suitable pan and fry the paste until it starts to darken and become fragrant. Add the cinnamon sticks and cardamom and fry for a further minute
  3. Add the meat to the pan and fry in the paste, continually stirring until meat begins to brown. Pour over the coconut milk, tamarind, lime zest and Essential Cuisine Aromatic Stock Base, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for one hour and half or until the meat is tender and the sauce is reduced and rich
  4. When the rendeng is ready, stir in the toasted coconut, mixing well
  5. Serve the rendeng with rice and garnish
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3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 14oz)

1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4oz)

1 cup shredded ricotta salata cheese (4oz)

3 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

3 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 pack (about 20 sheets) filo pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator

1 cup melted clarified butter


  1. Position racks in the top third and centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. To make the filling: Mix the Monterey Jack cheese, feta, ricotta salata, dill, mint, parsley, eggs, and pepper together in a large bowl.
  3. Unroll the filo and stack on the work surface. Cover the filo with a sheet of plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel to keep it from drying out.
  4. Keeping the remaining filo covered, place a filo sheet, with the short side facing you, on the work surface. Using a soft pastry brush, gently brush the filo with melted butter. Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the filo into thirds lengthwise.
  5. Place a teaspoon of the filling on the bottom of one strip, about 1” from the bottom and slightly off centre. Starting at the right bottom corner of the strip, fold the filo over to cover the filling to meet the opposite long side of the strip. Lightly press down on the filled filo to spread the filling.
  6. Fold the filo up, then over to the other side, continuing in a “flag-folding” fashion to form a filled triangle-shaped borag. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining two filo strips. Continue with the remaining filo, filling, and butter, placing the borags about an inch apart on the baking sheets.
  7. Brush the tops of the triangles with more melted butter. Bake until the borags are golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
  • 38 mins
  • 2
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150g Country Range Plain Flour

1/8 tsp Country Range Ground Ginger

25ml Country Range Extended Life Vegetable Oil

25g Country Range Madras Curry Paste

80ml water

½ tbsp Maldon salt

4 chicken thighs, diced small

1 spring onion, sliced

1 bunch fresh Coriander, chopped

1 tsp garlic cloves crushed

fresh ginger, sliced

1 green chili


  1. Mix the water, flour and salt in a bowl to form a dough. Knead until smooth then cover in cling film and rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile chop the diced chicken thigh small until it like mince, add sliced spring onions, madras paste, coriander, garlic and ginger. Mix well and put aside.
  3. Split the dough into about 12/15 20g sections, hand roll them into balls.
  4. Roll out each ball until very thin.
  5. Place a dessert spoon of chicken mix in the middle, wrap the pastry around and crimp the pas-try together at the top until the meat is sealed in.
  6. To Cook, use a traditional Bamboo steamer- place the momos in the top with the lid on and place over a pan of boiling hot water (you can also use a normal metal steamer or your oven if it has a steamer setting).
  7. Steam them for 8 mins.
  8. Dress with fresh ginger slices and green chili.
  • 45 mins
  • 4
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1 tub Country Range Premium Chicken Breast Fillets

2 tsp Country Range Pure Clear Honey

4tsp Country Range Soy Sauce

1 tsp Country Range Ground Garlic

1 tbsp Country Range Corn Flour

1 tsp Country Range Chinese Five Spice

300g Minced pork

2 tsp light brown sugar

1 tbsp coriander, chopped


  1. Finely chop the chicken fillets and place in a bowl with all the other ingredients
  2. Mix the mixture well and roll into walnut sized balls
  3. Gently fry in vegetable oil until golden on all sides and cooked to 75°C
  4. Serve with some Country Range Medium Egg Noodles, dressed with soy and sesame oil.