The pop-up restaurant scene is well established in London, with notable chefs and creative cooks conjuring up exciting menus that are celebrated today and sadly missed tomorrow… until the next time. Usually lasting for anything from one night to a few months, a pop-up restaurant gives both established and upcoming chefs and cooks a feel for public response to their food, and a chance to establish and build upon their name. From a customer viewpoint, these elusive nights usually offer value for money, a more intimate feel, and a whole host of exciting and sometimes experimental dishes.
Essex trails behind in embracing this movement, although every now and again there is a buzz of excitement surrounding a creative spark who dares to be different. Chef Charlie Stocker is the latest in the line of Essex Chefs that is making his menus and choice of venues a real must attend event. Fresh out of London, Charlie has worked his way up the ladder, gaining experience and knowledge in London restaurants renowned for their seasonal and creative cooking, including Manson and Sketch.
Charlie’s first pop-up night is due this Saturday, the 13th October, to be held in a train carriage on Platform 2 of Chappel and Wakes Colne Station – this is as close to the Orient Express as Essex is ever going to get. House bread, home churned butter and Tollesbury sea salt precedes an amuse bouche and a horde of locally sourced and foraged ingredients that make up some fabulous dishes, designed to please and test your taste buds. From Roasted scallops, strawberry sauce vierge, toasted pine nuts, white chocolate and pineapple weed, to a tasting of rare breed Essex pork, including cheek croquettes and slow cooked belly, with a side of blanched nettles and Aspalls cider jus.
If that has got you yearning, I’m afraid to say that Saturday’s event is a justified sell-out. Yes, how I do enjoy the tease. Fortunately, Charlie’s next pop-up night is to be held in just a couple of weeks at The Loft in Tollesbury, a vintage style tearoom, with an open kitchen, set in Tollesbury’s working marina.
The menu showcases the best of the area, from game and fresh fish, to foraged mushrooms, chestnuts and cobnuts – see menu below. At £25 per head for three courses, and only 16 places available, this intimate and interactive pop-up is going to sell out faster than the last. If you miss this one, keep up to date with Chef Charlie Stocker on Twitter, or subscribe to his website RSS at chefcharliestocker.wordpress.com
Menu for Pop Up, 27th October with Chef Charlie Stocker @ The Loft, Tollesbury CM9 8SE.
Pigeon Breast, Braised Shallot, Celeriac, Cobnut, Rocket
Carrot & Coconut Veloute, Thai Butter Tortellini, Lemongrass ‘Rice Crispies’, Coriander (V)
Ravioli of Squid Ink & Local Crab, Chorizo, Sea Herbs, Sweetcorn Veloute, Rape Greens
Loin Of Muntjac, Ravioli of Liver, Beetroot Fondant, Chestnut, Wild Service Berry, Bitter Chocolate
Pan Fried Local Bass, Roasted Salsify, Tollesbury Sea Vegetables, Cockles, Lemon Foam
Croustillant Of Pumpkin And Foraged Mushroom, Walnuts, Suffolk Blue, Sage
Orange Pannacotta, Sorbet, Beetroot Caramel, Hazelnut
Pineapple Macerated In Rum, Hogweed Seed Ice Cream, Coconut
Chocolate Cake, Eucalyptus Ice Cream, Lavender, Lime Fluid Gel
To book call Lisa Goddard on 07905732472 or Charlie Stocker on 07857417303