Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday October 12 2010
This is a project I was told about some time ago when it was still in the planning phase and I must admit, I just love things like this. I know for some the focus is football only and of course, that is my main area of interest for Villa as well. However I also love the rest of what is done at Villa Park these days and this project in particular really impresses me as it shows the quality of the people who run Villa.
Aston Villa is pleased to launch a new initiative, a training restaurant called VMF - Villa Midlands Food. VMF is inspired by the varied cultures and cuisines that are found in Aston and its neighbouring areas and local young people are at the heart of the project.
We have partnered with Birmingham Apprenticeship Service and have 12 trainee hospitality students from within a 10 mile radius of Villa Park. The Apprentices will spend 2 years with Aston Villa Hospitality and Events, during this time they will be taking a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Services qualification and we will be working with Walsall College as the training provider.
The aim is to give experience and a quality work environment to young adults and to use unique and traditional recipes that reflect our relationships with our local people whilst sourcing 80% of the food from within a 40 mile radius of Villa Park.VMF will open for dinner to the public on October 7th; the students will both cook and serve the food.
To support our new restaurant and these young people make a restaurant booking by calling the booking hotline 0121 326 1570.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR OCTOBER - Free bottle of wine per table of 4 please quote "web offer" at time of booking
Restaurant Opening Times Dinner, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (non match days only) 7pm - 10pm
The three course meal costs £25 per head and trust me, it is well worth it! I went the other week and had local pork belly, organic beef as a main and a chocolate tart for my pudding. Loverly jubberly! For me it compared VERY well with a summer visit (for my mom's 70th) to the Raymond Blanc restaurant in Oxford, high praise indeed. It is also lovely sitting at the Villa looking at the pitch. The restaurant is situation in the directors lounge area (hence non match day Saturdays only) and the service was friendly, quick and very very polite.
Great to see these 'kids' getting a chance and you could see the pride on their faces when the compliments came their way.
I'm there again this Thursday night, can't keep away!
Three course sample menu
Subrata`s Indian medley - Sub`s cocktail Indian savouries to include achari samosa, spinach pakora and aloo chat offered with tamarind and raita
Roast organic tomato soup - VMF student Terence McEvilly has developed this tomato soup recipe using fresh organic tomatoes from Whitehorn Farm in Carey, Herefordshire. Offered with freshly baked bread and local butter from Dawson`s in Tamworth
Pressed local pork belly - with five spiced sauce and Chinese vegetables
Fish cakes three ways - Smoked salmon (smoked in house by VMF students), salt cod with kalaloo, haddock and pimento each with their own accompanying sauce
Jerk chicken terrine - Worcestershire white chicken reared by Rob Caldicott in Beoley, marinated with Albert`s blended jerk spices, cooked slowly and pressed in a terrine with pineapple and mango salsa
Risotto of local mushrooms - with Berkswell ewe`s milk cheese and a local free range poached egg
From the Land and Sea
Organic Moreton Bagot beef - from Steve Green`s Old British White herd consisting braised blade and seared rump fillet with veal jus, parsnip puree, wilted spinach, confit of Drew`s tomato
Masala spiced line caught sea bass - with slow cooked coconut rice, turmeric cream sauce and spiced onions
Breckland duck breast - this free range Norfolk duck has been selected by VMF student Frances Cash for her recipe served with braised lentils, mushrooms and shallots
Blindhouse farm lamb - shoulder noisette, hot pot and the best end crusted with fresh garden herbs, minted pea puree and rosemary jus
Caldecott free range chicken - pot roasted breast with a mushroom duxelle ballotine of the leg, crisp Lye streaky bacon, confit of cabbage and thyme jus
Melanzane of local vegetables - with cous cous, hummus, and braised tomato and basil fondue (v)
Spice-smoked paneer and vegetable kebabs - with goat`s cheese and cashew nut wonton, pilau rice and passanda (v) (n)
All main courses are offered with the day`s selection of fresh, seasonal vegetables and potatoes
Selection of champion cheeses from the Midlands Supplement £2
Your server will advise on the day`s four selections, offered with homemade chutney and flavoured water biscuits
Banana bread and butter pudding - Kevin Annett`s (Chef de Partie) favourite pudding which is centred with bananas offered with vanilla custard and homemade ice - cream
Crème brulee - with mango puree and amaretti biscuits
Bitter chocolate tart - with caramelised oranges, pistachio praline and clotted cream
Organic apple crumble - VMF student James Reid`s adaptation of his favourite pudding served with vanilla and cinnamon anglaise
Selection of homemade sorbets and Ice creams - offered with hot chocolate sauce, marshmallows and praline (n)
Freshly brewed coffee - with homemade truffles
(Please be advised all menu items are subject to change)
Date:Tuesday October 12 2010
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