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Quick Bite With Alberton Pasqualin, Head Chef at The Ampersand Hotel

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

Alberton Pasqualin, Head Chef, The Ampersand Hotel, the five-star boutique hotel based in Kensington spoke to us to tell us what inspires him and what advice he can offer to aspiring chefs.

What would you say is the most defining moment of your career to date?

The most defining moment of my career has been when I came in England 10 years ago.

I moved from a small town in the north of Italy and when I arrived in London I discovered a huge variety of food cultures that I was previously unaware of.

What inspired you to become a chef?

The passion for the food and the flavours that we use every day to create an experience for us and others to enjoy, from fine dining to comfort food.

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry if they want to be successful?

Having an open mind and dedication are two of the most important qualities for someone that wants to be successful, but also make sure you enjoy what you are creating on the plate every day.

Any favourite ingredients at the moment or trends?

Sustainability of produce is definitely one but also trends like veganism are going to keep growing.

Favourite dish on the menu that uses an ingredient from Woods

Crispy Cod cheeks, borlotti bens & bacon


COD CHEEKS, BORLOTTI BEANS AND BACON

For the cod cheeks:

  • 500g of cod cheeks
  • 300g of panko breadcrumbs (Woods)
  • 3 eggs
  • Plain flour to dust (Woods)
  • Oil for frying  (Woods)

For the borlotti beans:

  • 200g of smoked pancetta
  • 250g of dry borlotti beans (Woods)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml of white cooking wine (Woods)
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 spring of rosemary
  • 4 spring of thyme
  • 2 dry bay leaf (woods)
  • 500g of chopped tin tomato (Woods)
  • 1 tsp of dry oregano (Woods)
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika powder (Woods)
  • Salt & pepper (Woods)

Directions:

For the cod:

Clean the cod cheeks from the sinew. Bit up the eggs in a mixing bowl and prepare the panko breadcrumbs in another. Dust the cheeks with flour, pass them through the eggs and then in the panko. Set aside.

For the beans:

Soak the beans in water the night before. Drain them and cook them gently on the heat until almost soft.

In the meantime dice the pancetta in ½ cm cubes,  chop the carrots, the onion, the garlic and the celery.

In a hot pan put the pancetta with some extra virgin olive oil, cook until the pancetta is almost crispy. Add the vegetables and sweat them down. Once nicely cooked add the white wine and let evaporate.

Add the chopped tomato, the oregano, the paprika and a bouquet garni with the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.

Gently boil until reduced by ¼ and add the beans previously cooked, add salt and pepper to taste. Keep on the fire until the beans are soft.

Fry the cod cheeks in the oil until golden brown, drain them and salt them. In a small bowl plate put some of the beans stew, and the cod cheeks on top and enjoy!