A COUPLE of weeks ago, I marked my 20th anniversary at The Star with a "proper lunch" for fellow chefs from the top 20 UK gastropubs, ex-chefs from The Star and a few special friends (sorry, we could not invite all of you).

Selecting dishes from our restaurant menus from two decades for the eight-course lunch menu was as difficult as it would be to make dessert island disc choices.

While my two recipes this month did not quite make the list, they are both in my Harome Hall of Fame.

The first recipe takes crab mayonnaise, a little tomato and basil and the Bloody Mary vinaigrette for a simple twist on the morning-after cocktail. The delicious, pure white crab meat combined with the freshness of the citrus zest, dill and cucumber, together with simple presentation make it a classic.

My second recipe combines fresh raspberries, cream and lavender together with some sunshine. This is a good pudding for large parties as it can be done beforehand (however needs to be kept cool). Just wait until you smell the shortbread baking, it fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma.

Thank you so much to all the guests who have visited us over the years some have become great friends too; it's been a pleasure cooking and looking after you all.

Dressed white Whitby crab meat with a plum tomato and basil salad, green herb mayonnaise, Bloody Mary vinaigrette (serves four)


400g white crab meat

100g cucumber

Zest of 1 lemon

25g dill

2 tbsp mayonnaise

2 plum tomatoes

6 basil leaves

Mixed salad leaves

100g mixed green herbs (parsley, lovage, chives and dill)

A little olive oil

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp tomato ketchup

25ml vodka

Few drops of Tabasco



Sieve the crab meat to ensure that all the shell has been removed. Squeeze any excess water from the crab by wrapping it in a clean towel. Quarter the cucumber length ways and remove the seeds. Chop very finely, again squeezing any excess water away and add to the crab along with the lemon zest and the chopped dill. Bind with just enough of the mayonnaise to bring the mixture together. Season to taste.

For the green herb mayonnaise

Blitz the herbs with just enough olive oil to make a purée. Add the herb purée to the mayonnaise and mix together

the Bloody Mary dressing

Mix the tomato puree, tomato ketchup, vodka and Tabasco together. Feel free to alter the amount of vodka and Tabasco to taste.

To assemble

Lay three slices of overlapping tomato, seasoned with salt and pepper, in the middle of the plate, topped with a few torn basil leaves, followed by some of the salad leaves. Shape the crab meat into rounds and sit on top of the salad leaves. Dress the plate with alternative dots of green herb mayonnaise and the Bloody Mary dressing. Serve immediately.

Fresh raspberry stack with lavender shortbread (serves four)

For the "stack"

Approximately 40 raspberries

250ml whipping cream

40g icing sugar

1 vanilla pod

Lavender shortbread

225g plain flour

150g cornflour

225g butter

110g caster sugar

25g lavender flowers


Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the flours and the lavender; you can do this in a mixer or by hand. When the dough is coming together, roll it into a ball and chill for 20 minutes. Roll the pastry out and cut into rounds or any chosen shape. Bake until only slightly colouring at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes.

Assembling the stack

Whip 250ml of whipping cream with 40g icing sugar and scrape out a vanilla pod, beat until stiff. Pipe a rosette of cream in the middle of your shortbread and arrange the raspberries around the cream. Place another piece of shortbread on top of that and do the same as the last layer. Dust the top with icing sugar. Serve with a little sauce of berries or pouring cream.