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Dish of the Month | May 2024 | Adrian Gagea’s Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé

May’s Dish of the Month – Adrian Gagea’s Cheese Soufflé

 

As we go the extra mile when it comes to our food, and commit to only using local produce and artisan producers, we thought we’d share some of our secrets, insights and expertise on some of our most loved dishes. Now, you too can recreate these dishes at home.

 

Executive chef of Longbow Venues, Adrian Gagea, is the creative culinary brains behind our menus and was asked to share his favourite dish first.

 

 

‘This soufflé is one of the first dishes we created on the Longbow journey when we first opened the Maynard in 2020. It remains one of our customer favourites along with venison ravioli. It is a very special dish to me as is one of the first complex dish I learned from a great chef.’ He said.

 

A Big Mistake Became a Great Lesson

 

‘I chose the cheese soufflé because it was one of the first recipes I learned when working at Raymond Blanc’s restaurant. At the time, the head chef asked me to prepare all the ingredients in ramekins and bowls so we could make it together. He was trying to show me the exact method and was specific in his instructions.’

 

‘As I was reading through the recipe, I don’t know if it was nerves or somewhere in my subconscious thinking I could do it and didn’t need to be taught I didn’t follow instructions. I started the recipe.’

 

‘I took the egg whites and whisked them up, added the salt and the lemon juice and whisked some more – all in the same bowl.’

 

‘Big mistake!’

 

‘When the chef came back to see I’d already attempted the recipe and had not followed his instructions, he threw everything on the floor, told me to stop acting smart. I was ordered to clean it up, start again but this time in separate bowls so we could make it together.’

 

‘Making this mistake meant I listened intently to what he had to say. I took extreme notice and learned everything needed to make the perfect cheese soufflé. When I repeated it, I had get it right and I went out of my way to learn this recipe and method to make the perfect cheese soufflé every time. It is something that has stayed with me to this day and probably the reason why this dish is one of my favourites. I was taught a valuable lesson that day about respecting those above me, the importance of listening and why it is necessary to follow process.’

 

 

Recipe – Serves 16

 

Ingredients – Cheese sauce

75g Fountain’s Gold smoked cheddar
175ml whole milk
50g Parmesan Grana Padano
700ml double cream
75g Hartington’s blue cheese
200g grated cheddar
100g salted butter

 

Ingredients – Soufflé

150g salted butter
200g gluten free oats
300g Hartington blue cheese
30ml lemon juice
800g egg white
2g table salt
200g egg yolks
250g grated cheddar
400ml whole milk
100g gluten free flour
100g salted butter

 

For the garnish

rocket salad
herb oil

 

Method

 

Cheese Sauce

 

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter
  2. Add Hartington’s blue stilton and once melted, add the grated cheddar and Fountain’s Gold smoked cheddar
  3. Add double cream, parmesan and milk
  4. Mix constantly until all cheeses are melted and creamy
  5. Season to taste

 

Soufflé

 

  1. Prepare the soufflé moulds with butter (using a brush) and oats
  2. In a pan, melt the butter then add the flour continue cooking till golden brown
  3. Add the milk slowly whisk till you have a cream, add the egg yolks, chilli, salt and cheddar
  4. In the meantime, whisk the eggs and lemon juice till aerated
  5. Keep the pan on low heat till the mixture is nice and shiny, and is sticking together
  6. Incorporate 30 % of the egg whites in the mixture then mix all together with the spatula
  7. Fill all the moulds halfway with the mixture
  8. For cooking, place the soufflé moulds on trays with a layer of water and cook them at 160 c for 15 min
  9. Once cooked open the door from the oven and leave them to cool slowly
  10. After few minutes take them out and place them up side down on a clean tray with paper
  11. To serve cook the soufflé for 10 min at 180 c, reheat the sauce and plate with garnish to finish

Adrian’s top tips

 

It’s Easy to Make Gluten Free

 

‘For us at Longbow, 90% of our menu can be made gluten-free and where possible, we make our recipes gluten-free in the first instance. The cheese soufflé is one of the recipes where it was easy to make gluten-free thanks to gluten-free flour.’

 

A Good Flour and a Good Cheese Are a Must

 

‘When it comes to a souffle, good flour and great cheese makes all the difference. Good quality flour will make the souffle light, like a cloud. When picking cheese, you want to go for something delicious and creamy. We get our cheese from Holdsworth Foods and Tideswell.

 

Easily Prepared in Advance

 

The souffle recipe can be complex so if I’m cooking this at home, I like to prepare it the day before and reheat the following day, upside down. It means you can save time on the day of dining and also practice if it is your first time making the souffle.

 

 

Serve Like This

 

Serve it with the cheese sauce for a delicious, creamy and tangy accompaniment. A fresh rocket salad (we get ours from Winster Foods in Chesterfield) adds that peppery layer of flavour and a good quality olive oil or herb oil complements the strong flavours of the cheese, adding another depth to the overall flavour and enjoyment.

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