Chef Kevin Blakeman has worked at some superb and very interesting establishments. From being one of the lucky few to be trained in the UK as part of the Chef’s Associations specialised chefs course he moved on to four years working at the Houses of Parliament cooking for the Prime Minister and The Queen to name a few. After becoming a head chef at the age of only 21 he finally found his way to New Zealand with his kiwi partner. His Auckland C.V includes Allely House, Auckland’s Waitakere Estate where he transformed the kitchen, and more recently Coco’s Cantina which unfortunately he had to leave after breaking his leg after only 6 weeks.
After making Como St Cafe, Takapuna the first completely palm oil free eatery in New Zealand he moved onto be Executive chef at Mercure Hotel in Auckland's CBD where he is trying to continue being palm oil free.
At Mercure Chef has overhauled the dining from a typical hotel restaurant to an exceptional bar, conference and restaurant experience. It's an exciting time for the hotel as there are renovations from top to bottom so by mid-2016 it will be a completely new hotel.
In 2015 Chef created a Gallipoli tribute dessert to mark the centenary of the battle, with profits going to the RNZRSA.
Chef Kevin Blakeman also makes many public appearances and cooking demonstrations, such as the Coffee and Chocolate Show, and recently appeared on Good Morning.
One of his biggest passions is the very successful in-home dining, each menu is tailored for each client; he comes, cooks, serves and even leaves the kitchen cleaner than when he found it!
Kevin has won multiple awards, including being a four time winner of the Beef and Lamb Excellence awards, the latest being the 2016 award.
Chef Kevin is currently a member of both the Food Bloggers Association and the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers.
For Kevin Blakeman's website click here
Beautiful entrée and fairly easy to make that can be made well ahead of time and used for that special dinner party.
Ingredients – Serves 4
200g Venison Denver leg
20g Cracked peppercorns
20g Juniper berries
30g Sea salt
50ml Canola oil
1. Chop parsley, thyme and rosemary as fine as possible. Mix with the cracked peppercorns, cracked juniper berries and sea salt set aside on a tray ready to coat later.
2. In a frying pan add the oil and when hot quickly sear the venison just to colour and no more.
3. Now roll the venison in the mixture, wrap in cling film to form a sausage shape and freeze.
4. 30 minutes before serving remove the venison from the freezer and when you are ready to serve slice as thin as possible on either a meat slicer or with a
very sharp knife. 5. Allow it to defrost on the plate which will only take a few moments.
How about a delicious alternative to your usual lamb shanks, using some Raukumara Red 300g venison shanks!
4 x 300g Venison hind-shanks on the bone (get your butcher to prepare them, you may have to pre order but this is no problem)
100g Celeriac (celery root)
100g Red onions
200ml Red wine
Beef stock to cover
Oil, salt and pepper
4 Servings of your best lump free mash potato
• Coat the bones with olive oil and salt well, then roast in a hot oven at top temperature until brown.
• Put the bones in a large stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
• Skim the froth that forms on the surface and simmer very gently for at least 4 hours; I let it go overnight. You want the broth to steam and burble a little, not roil.
• Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 2 hours.
• Using tongs, grab out all the bones and large bits and discard. Set a paper towel in a fine-mesh sieve that is itself set over another large pot. Ladle the venison broth through the cheesecloth-lined sieve. Discard the dregs in the broth pot, with will be loaded with sediment and other bits.
• Add salt to taste to the broth.
• Freeze what you don’t use.
• Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.
• Add cabbage, apple, onion and bacon. Sauté until cabbage is crisp-tender.
• Add wine and vinegar. Cover and cook until liquid evaporates and cabbage is tender.
• Add honey. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
• In a pot bring to boil the parsnips, cream, garlic, butter and seasoning. When boiling reduce to a simmer.
• When the parsnips are tender and break to a knife use a food processor or blender and pulse to a smooth puree.
• Pass through a sieve if you have one to make it even smoother.
Gourmet potatoes – Halve and roast in salt, pepper and oil in a 180 degree oven.
Baby beetroot – Top and tail and boil n water until tender. Then peel easily when warm simply peeling by hand.
Venison sausage – Cook to personal preference.
Venison loin – Cook to personal preference.
• Heat all the pre made components – broth, puree, cabbage, gourmet potatoes, baby beetroot.
• On a plate season the sausages and venison loin.
• Heat a pan and sear sausages until coloured on all sides then finish in the oven.
• When the sausages hit the oven heat another pan with some cooking oil and 50g butter. When hot add venison loins, cook on one side until well coloured.
• Flip the venison loin and cook again.
• Finish the other sides of each loin.
• Cook until medium rare. (To check connect the tip of your middle finger and thumb, touch the flesh underneath your thumb it should feel like this to touch.)
• Rest loin for 5 minutes before slicing in half. Cut sausages into 2 or 3 pieces.
Serve as per picture or by your choice of plating.
New Zealand Wild Venison
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