My adventure with Yorkshire Valley Farms began at the McEwan Group’s Fabbrica, where I spent “Kitchen Day” with chef Rob LeClair. Four different influencers would be paired with four chefs to craft a signature chicken dish using YVF’s free-range, grain-fed, organic chicken.
His signature dish – Braciole di Pollo was befittingly Italian (Fabbrica is an Italian restaurant). This featured a deboned chicken, stuffed with prosciutto, parmesan reggiano, lemon zest, and herbs, rolled up Porchetta-style and then pan-seared and finished off in the oven. I picked the chef’s brains as he chopped up ingredients and tossed things together. The bane of my existence is cooking chicken breast that isn’t dry, and Rob tells me the secret is in the brine.
A few weeks later, I had the pleasure of inviting 9 food bloggers to come and sample the signature dish. Chef Rob and I had discussed possible sides to serve with the finished product, though he remained very secretive about it until he actually served it to us. Who doesn’t love a little mystery right?
It was a scorcher that evening and with all jokes of putting a group of 9 bloggers outside to roast like suckling pig aside, the evening started out with a glass of sangria. I think we were all thankful for that!
Chef Rob then came out to meet and greet everyone and put out a charcuterie platter for sharing.
And then came the fried smelts that were lightly battered and not oily. Everyone knows I prefer these babies to fries.
While the signature dish was not unveiled from beneath a cloche, I think everyone will agree that it didn’t need the red-carpet treatment as it was delicious in its own right. The chicken was extremely juicy, served on a bed of fregola (akin to Israeli couscous) which was a good choice as it sopped up all the juices from the chicken which meant added flavour. And I was especially excited to see a fried zucchini blossom as I love them and you don’t see them around very often due to its seasonality. While chef Rob joked about loving the dish so much that he might just put it on the menu – we’re hoping he’ll seriously consider it!
For dessert, chef Rob served up a summery passion fruit pavlova. The meringue was perfect – felt like I was eating a macaron minus the filling.
If you were to ask me to answer the old adage “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” – I’d be pretty torn as both the signature dish and this dessert were absolutely delicious!
The McEwan Group was also generous enough to have raffled off a $100 gift card to spend at any of its restaurants or grocery store. There was a live Twitter contest for all the attendees that featured trivia questions about Fabbrica, Yorkshire Valley Farms, and other sorts of chicky fun. At the end of the day @wherejessate took home the prize.
I would like to thank Branding & Buzzing, Yorkshire Valley Farms and The McEwan Group for this wonderful opportunity to work with amazing ingredients, amazing chefs and for an evening well-spent with some amazing tweeps!
Thanks to @corecorina, @wherejessate, @as_toronto, @1goatroti, @momwhoruns, @abbeyskitchen, @foodigatorj, @kiki_bff + @yash_yanthi for joining me for this delicious evening
*I have received compensation to participate in the #LegsAndTie campaign: documenting chef Rob LeClair as he prepared his signature dish and also for hosting Restaurant Day at Fabbrica. Views and opinions as always, are my own*