“It’s all about seasonality.” Words Anthony Coppard, Gusbourne’s new Head Chef at The Nest, lives by. Born and raised in West Kent, Anthony’s authentic love for all things fresh, local and seasonal is obvious. His belief in the importance of provenance, seasonality and quality are evident in the menus he’s planning for the coming months.
While dreaming up the dishes he’ll be creating for guests on Discovery and Estate tour lunches, Anthony’s also been calling on the team’s expert knowledge in wine pairing. Thinking about the ideal match for a spiced potted ham hock with garlic and rosemary focaccia. Or a baked cod with batter scratchings, pea purée, crispy confit potato and a creamy dill beurre blanc.
Having cooked in AA two-Rosette establishments like the acclaimed pub with rooms The Dog in Wingham, Anthony’s also excited about working with excellent local producers he respects. Like Moons Green Charcuterie in Tenterden, not far from our home village of Appledore. This artisan maker of English air-dried saucissons and their own versions of classic European charcuterie has been supplying their wares to Gusbourne for several years now. “I heard that Moons Green once made a salami that incorporated crushed grape skins from Gusbourne – I’d love to see that back on the menu again,” says Anthony.
One ingredient that hasn’t featured on Gusbourne menus before is beef. Until Anthony and the team sampled one of the limited range of Late Disgorged wines at a special tasting event. With the richness imparted by extended lees ageing, the Brut Reserve 2013 Late Disgorged revealed itself as an ideal counterpart to a simply grilled medium-rare piece of sirloin beef steak served with an unctuous wild garlic hollandaise alongside sautéed new potatoes and griddled tenderstem broccoli. “I was surprised that a sparkling white wine could go so well with steak, then I learned about the flavours that develop under extended lees ageing – it makes perfect sense as a pairing.”
Eating the seasons
That Gusbourne spirit of innovation and experimentation has inspired Anthony’s creative culinary skills. And with so much exquisite local produce to play with, he’s looking ahead to what the seasons will deliver in Kent as well as neighbouring West Sussex. Asparagus, globe artichokes, peas, courgettes and of course Kentish strawberries in summer.
As for autumn, Anthony’s planning for a bounty of mushrooms. Last year he accompanied a colleague on a foraging adventure, returning with “a load of funky mushrooms – some I’d never seen before, like hedgehog mushrooms. You can’t get them in any regular farmer’s market – that really excites me.”
One specialist supplier that’s already making a menu appearance at Gusbourne is Cherry Tree Farms, whose premium mixed salad leaves are, says Anthony, “amazing alternative leaves like mizuna, red chard, bulls blood, tatsoi, wild cress and edible flowers. Fresh, delicious, unusual and also really pretty to work with.”
And no local feast would be complete without cheese, and Anthony is doing the hard work of tasting a vast variety of cheeses from artisan suppliers in Kent and West Sussex. “I’d really like to look more into cheeses from Canterbury, like Ashmore – it’s a hard cheddar-style cow’s milk cheese.” And with the Goodwood Estate on the doorstep of Gusbourne’s West Sussex vineyard, he’ll have plenty more award-winning cheese to use as ingredients or pair with our wines.
Lunch made on site at the Nest Kitchen is included in all Gusbourne Estate and Discovery tours. Here’s a taste of what you might expect this spring and summer:
Example Estate Tour Menu – seasonal 3-course lunch
Tempura courgette flower stuffed with goat’s cured, spring onion, slow-roasted cherry vine tomato, chive emulsion and courgette ribbon salad
Summer rigatoni with asparagus and grilled artichokes, sun-blush tomato vinaigrette, fresh basil and shavings of Twineham Grange vegetarian cheese
Baked cod topped with batter scratchings, pea purée, crispy confit potato, fresh cucumber and tomato salsa, dill beurre blanc and pickled onion caviar
Madagascan vanilla and yoghurt panna cotta, matcha tea sponge, candied pistachio, strawberry gel, strawberries macerated in Gusbourne Rosé
Example Discovery Tour Menu – seasonal sharing platters
- Spiced potted ham hock, cornichons, housemade roasted garlic and rosemary focaccia
- Asparagus and grilled artichoke bruschetta topped with sweet pickled red onion and Twineham Grange shavings
- Courgette ribbon and fennel salad, Cherry Tree Farm mixed leaves, fresh basil, slow-roasted cherry vine tomatoes, crispy quinoa and citrus dressing
- Roasted red pepper and coriander hummus topped with spiced crispy chickpeas
- Gluten-free caramelised red onion, spinach and goat’s cheese quiche
Menus subject to seasonal change. Vegetarian and vegan alternatives always available.
Join us for a hosted tour, wine tasting and lunch overlooking the vines. Explore our Discovery and Estate tours here.
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