Sixty chefs from as far north as Edinburgh and as far south as St Merryn in Cornwall made the pilgrimage to Cheltenham's Le Champignon Sauvage last month for its Chef Eats Out event. Amanda Afiya and photographer Lisa Barber made the journey too
David and Helen Everitt-Matthias's two-Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage is certainly a labour of love. Having never missed a service in its 19-year history, David has established a reputation for being a committed cook, and one who cooks to an exceptionally high technical level, Helen, meanwhile, runs a flawless front of house with a balance of geniality and efficiency.
So when 60 Caterer readers were given the chance to sample the delights of Le Champignon Sauvage, situated in Cheltenham's Montpellier district, last month, the uptake was incredible. Chefs descended on the restaurant from all corners of Britain to meet the man whose recently published book, Essence, has received glowing reviews and been described as the English equivalent of the French Laundry Cookbook.
David and his team produced a stunning seven-course menu, excluding coffee and copious petits fours, for the visiting chefs. The menu (see below), which featured unusual and flavoursome ingredients such as Bay Boletus, cocks' kidneys, pennywort, ground elder, ras el hanout mixed spices, pig's belly, cheek and head and a number of dishes from the book, dazzled the chefs.
• Essence, by David Everitt-Matthias, is published by Absolute Press, £25, ISBN 1-9045735-2-5