Photography by Matt Jessop
Planning a special occasion? Try this new range from an award-winning chef delivered to your home (secretly, of course)
When it comes to dinner parties, or just enjoying a romantic or special family meal at home, many of us have resorted to little cheats. Whether this is getting some help from the local deli or caterer or from one of the more upmarket food chains, it can be simpler to buy in something prepared by expert hands. Award-winning chef Greg Laskey and his wife Alli have now introduced Fresshh!, a range of expertly prepared, restaurant-quality menus, made from fresh, local produce which is specially packaged so you can order it online and enjoy it wherever you are in the UK. It is also available from local retails outlets around Cornwall.
Having first burst onto the food scene as the Chefs and Cooks Circle junior master chef of Great Britain, Greg went on to train with Cornwall’s first Michelin- starred chef, Kevin Viner. Greg and Alli ran their own restaurant Soanes in Petworth before moving to Cornwall where Greg has been head chef at some of the county’s leading restaurants, and the couple currently run gastropub, The Ship Inn in Mawgan, Cornwall. Alli is a trained pastry chef and a very charming hostess. The Ship Inn is incredibly popular (book well in advance) and recently won a Taste of the West gold award.
Greg came up with the idea of preparing their most popular menu choices so that they were available to enjoy at home, whilst devising a method of serving meals for a large charity event which the couple host to raise funds for Cornwall Air Ambulance. The meals are cooked by Greg and his team from very local, hand-picked producers, and the meals arrive in tray packs which are generous enough to serve two, and also in packs of two individual pouches. “People enjoy having really fresh, beautifully cooked food at home for special occasions, but we also get people buying them in bulk for dinner parties or larger events, because they make it easy to offer people their choice of meal and to serve it all fresh and hot, and already in the correct portion sizes,” he explains.
Certainly, the range, which includes main courses, side dishes, soups and desserts, is incredibly tempting. One of the more popular offerings is the slow-cooked pork belly with apple and sultana chutney, which is succulent and full of flavour. Also on offer are a deliciously tender chicken thigh and drumstick which come in a delicate saffron and rosemary cream sauce. There is also wild garlic soup, braised red cabbage and several other delicious main courses and side dishes.
Desserts include sticky toffee pudding with dates and Cornish cream; and home-made ice creams including vanilla, hazelnut, pistachio and lemon flavours.
It has not taken long for some catering businesses to appreciate the benefits of being able to supply Greg and Alli’s mouthwatering creations on a commercial scale. Although the couple are careful to guard the identity of their clients, they do supply one large pub chain with meals which are served to customers who choose the meals from the pub menu. And as the meals can be bought online, the couple have found that people from all around the UK are ordering from the range.
“We’re incredibly pleased with how Fresshh! has taken off,” says Alli. “We want to grow the business, and we are looking for new retail outlets. But one of the reasons we came up with the range was because we didn’t want to work the crazy hours that so many people in the catering business do. We want to enjoy time with our two young daughters, Jessica and Ellie and our friends.”
Saving of precious time to spend with family and friends also seems like a very good excuse to order in some slow braised lamb or cheese soufflé with spring onions and pine nuts — and as the sshh, at the end of the Fresshh! name suggests, no-one really needs to know that your dinner party was created by an award-winning chef.
See the full Fresshh! range, order meals and find stockists and recipes for side dishes at www.fresshh.co.uk