Tuesday night we were lucky enough to get invited to an exclusive tasting event at Rudding Park’s brand new pop up restaurant Horto. Latin for ‘kitchen garden’, Horto utilises seasonal ingredients from over 100 different herbs, salads, edible flowers and fruits all grown by Kitchen Gardener, Adrian Reeve. Adrian and acclaimed Yorkshire Chef Murray Wilson work closely to produce a menu that is dictated by seasonal produce and the flair of Head Chef Murray.
A familiar face on the Harrogate/Yorkshire Food scene Murray previously worked at Norse, Hotel du Vin and The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill where he perfected classic techniques. In 2008 Murray was second on Masterchef: The Professionals, worked at Atelier Restaurant in Ottawa, Canada and has also worked for Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, London.
The first dish was Murray’s take on tomato and mozzarella. Yorkshire smoked mozzarella foam topped with a dehydrated heritage tomato, fresh garden herbs and tomato water. Some of the cooking techniques and kitchen equipment used would make you think its more of a science lab then a restaurant kitchen!
Next up we had 50 day aged beef with barbecue sauce, wrapped in barbecued celeriac and nasturtium from the kitchen garden. Really clean flavours with a nice depth to the beef and barbecue sauce, perfectly balanced.
To follow the beef was the smoked mackerel, cardamom crumble rhubarb granita and cucumber and dill. The tastes and textures worked really well together, this was one of the standout dishes of the night.
The main event for me was the Scarborough woof. This was served with potted shrimp, turnip, kohlrabi and the most amazing arbroath smokie sauce. I don’t think I’ve tasted fish cooked so well.
To finish Murray pulled out a show stopper, with a table setup in the dining room to prepare the desserts he added the ladle back to raspberry puree then to liquid nitrogen to create a mini frozen raspberry bowl which was then added to the white chocolate, almond and anise. Real molecular gastronomy.
To wash it down we opted for the parma violet gin cocktail topped again with edible flowers from the kitchen garden. Not only is the food outstanding the cocktail menu is exciting too.
The food at Horto is some of the best we’ve had in a long time. This isn’t just about going out for a nice meal, this is a real experience, from the stories the dishes tell you about the seasonality and locality of the kitchen garden, to Murray’s fresh take on humble ingredients, showcasing them with his modern interpretation both in the cooking methods and presentation. Horto is a summer pop up restaurant so we really do advise everyone to sample the great food and unforgettable dining experience.
Visit Horto’s dedicated page here.