Last week we were invited along to Exeter Cookery School to witness and experience some of the things that make Absurd Bird a restaurant to look forward to.
Eating Exeter were lucky enough to be invited along with other notable food/life bloggers from the Exeter area – we were in for a treat.
Food Bloggers, like bears, are generally solitary creatures. They roam restaurants, eating food and visiting events, but rarely do they gather in one place. This is a terrible analogy as bears can be grumpy and smell terrible (so I am told), and as far as I know the food bloggers that I know all smell lovely and are not grumpy in the slightest. My point is that it can be a solitary occupation, so it was great to meet-up and take lots of photos (449 on the memory card afterwards!). I can’t wait to get that bunch of bloggers together again!
So why had we gathered in the beautiful surroundings of Exeter Cookery School? Well we were here to witness what Absurd Bird was all about, with their third restaurant opening in the Queen Street Dining Quarter very soon and their first restaurant outside London, this was a unique way of connecting with bloggers and getting their message across.
There were three elements to the evening: cocktails, demonstrated by Soul Shakers; A demo from Andrew Hazel, director of food operations; and a chance for us to get our hands dirty and have a go for ourselves.
But first, cocktails provided by Soul Shakers made with Absurd’s very own moonshine, a type of bourbon believe it or not.
We had a demo, then another sample…
So what is Absurd Bird? Based on Deep South comfort food, their menu has been developed to put them ahead of many of the other High St chains. Using good quality chicken from Foss Meadow Farm, they are striving to put themselves above other restaurants in quality and experience. Mark Hall gave a brief talk on why Absurd Bird had chosen Exeter as their first city outside London (they have two other restaurants in LDN).
Our demo this evening was going to be given by the Head of Food Operations, Andy Hazell, who had travelled down from London that day.
Andy was going to demonstrate some dishes tonight including Spinach, Jalapeno and Artochoke Dip, Quinoa Salad (which we’d be making), Deep Fried Chicken in Boa Buns with Kewpie Mayo and their take on Mac & Cheese.
Absurd Bird tend to fry, smoke or grill their chicken. Soaked in brine to keep it succulent, all smoking happens in-house. Every part of the chicken that can be used is used.
Fresh ingredients are bought in each day.
Finally we got to see our Quinoa Salad, one of the items that we’d be preparing ourselves in our own teams!
I partnered with Nick and Latoyah from Sugar Pink Food.
Although we didn’t win any prizes for presentation, team name or taste it was a great end to a unique event. Jim and Lucy Fisher judged our plates, but sadly they were not bowled over by our ‘Jurassic Park’ inspired creation!
Stay tuned for more news about Absurd Bird this week!