Masterchef - February's recipes from The Castle Restaurant's Kit Davies

PUBLISHED: 00:16 26 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:33 20 February 2013

Masterchef - February's recipes from The Castle Restaurant's Kit Davies

Masterchef - February's recipes from The Castle Restaurant's Kit Davies

Kit Davies, Head Chef at The Castle Restaurant in Bude, uses local, quality ingredients to create simple, flavoursome dishes for his menus

Kit Davies, Head Chef at The Castle Restaurant in Bude, uses local, quality ingredients to create simple, flavoursome dishes for his menus

About Kit

Kit left Cornwall and moved to London, spending nine years working in top London kitchens such as Bibendum, Cotto and Kensington Place. After learning his trade he returned to Cornwall and his hometown of Bude. After working locally and realising there was a market for top-quality dining, he opened The Castle Restaurant in 1997.
What makes The Castle different from other restaurants in the area is the quality of the ingredients and the skill in how they are used. We are lucky to be able to source fantastic local produce from our doorstep and I believe that these quality products should be handled with the respect they deserve, explains Kit. The result is clean, simple dishes that help to let the flavours shine through. This was recognised in 2009, when the restaurant won its first AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence, the only restaurant in Bude to have this award, which it still retains today.

Kits top Cornish chefs

"Kyan Hooper, who is the Head Chef at Sea Fever in Bude, is a solid chef who actually worked for me at The Castle for a time. Its great to have another good restaurant in Bude as it attracts foodie people to the area, and when were fully booked we have somewhere else good to send people.
"Tim Robinson is another good Bude chef who opened his own pub, The Wig & Pen, in Truro in January. Hes done great things in Bude and Im confident his new venture will be a success, serving great pub classics cooked really well and made with fresh ingredients.
"I also really admire Sarah and Hugo Hercod who own Relish in Wadebridge. Its great to have something like their deli and caf in Cornwall we need more things like this around."

Local suppliers


"Bob the Butcher supplies us with all our meat. He is based in Bradworthy in Devon and all his meat is from local farms. Our sirloin steak comes from a farm in nearby Kilkhampton, which is fantastic."


"Seasonal Vegetable Company is based just outside of Holsworthy in Devon. This small organic farm supplies us with vegetables. Its produce tastes amazing and, of course, it means all our vegetables are seasonal and British."

Fish and game

"Celtic Fish & Game supplies us with all our fish, which it gets from the day boats at Looe. It also produces more specialist meats like a great selection of game, which we love using in the restaurant."


"Bradleys Dairy supplies us with all our milk, free-range eggs and cream. Their double cream is outstanding and really adds life to any mashed potato."


Serves 2

For the meat:
2 venison medallions (ask the butcher to cut them)

For the potatoes:
1kg Maris Piper potatoes
450ml cream
1 tspchopped garlic
Salt and pepper
Puff pastry


1 Peel the potatoes and slice finely. Bring the potatoes, cream and garlic to the boil in a saucepan, season to taste, and simmer for around 10 minutes.

2 Transfer the mixture into a baking tray, flatten, and bake at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the oven, place a tray on the top to weigh it down and allow to chill and set.

3 Roll the puff pastry thinly and cut out with a circular cutter. Using a smaller cutter cut out the dauphinoise and place in the middle of a puff pastry ring. Brush the edges with water and stretch another puff pastry ring over the top.

4 Press and join the pastry rings together, egg wash them with beaten egg yolks and bake at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 9 minutes (until golden brown).

5 Season the venison medallions, sear on all sides in a frying pan with oil and a knob of butter, and roast in the oven (10-12 minutes for medium rare).

6 Serve with greens and the jus from the pan.

What starter and dessert?

Kit says: To accompany the venison as a starter, I would pan-fry scallops with some cauliflower pure and pancetta. For dessert, something rich like a hot chocolate fondant with white coffee ice cream would really go well with the other hearty flavours.

Three other ways with venison

Venison stew
Venison also makes a great stew but use the front leg rather then the haunch for that. Long, slow cooking is best, and serve the dish with something warming like mash and roasted root vegetables.

Venison tartare
Using venison instead of beef as a tartare is brilliant, as the meat is so tender but also has a rich gamey flavour. Venison tartare can be served as a starter or a main but could be an easy dinner party starter.

Venison Wellington
Cook venison as a Wellington dish. This is a tender cut encased in a pastry, often with a rich pt wrapped around the meat.

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