Harpenden chef swaps surgeon’s blade for kitchen knife
- Credit: Archant
Many chefs who have trained with Raymond Blanc have gone on to win a coveted Michelin star.
But one of his students, an ear, nose and throat surgeon from Harpenden, has taken a different direction altogether - writing a book on how to host the perfect dinner party.
Adam Frosh is an amateur chef who has used his twin passions, cooking and entertaining, as the basis for his book Hosting an Elegant Dinner Party: Surgeon in the Kitchen.
He told the Herts Advertiser: “I have always loved good food. My mum was a great cook – she owned a coffee bar in Camden Passage in Islington. I couldn’t fail to be impressed by my parents who threw parties with ease, and always served good food.”
With his palate broadened by his parents and, later, piqued by meals served at various top restaurants, Adam realised there were certain elements he enjoyed as much as the food.
These aspects included the presentation, ambience and how a dining ‘experience’ was achieved.
Adam explained: “Everyone likes to be made to feel special. People appreciate it when someone has made the effort.
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“But there aren’t many books that combine both the presentation and preparation of food and the table, so I thought, why not put that in a book?”
Adam shows readers how to plan, prepare, and cook for the perfect dinner party.
He advises planning at least two months in advance, and inviting between eight and 12 guests.
And he has Raymond Blanc to thank for improving some of his culinary skills.
The surgeon attended the Raymond Blanc Cookery School at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Sainsons, where the great chef himself passed on some invaluable tips.
Adam said: “Raymond was observing the class and he said to me, ‘there have been other surgeons coming here and I had to say to them – the same as I am going to tell you – you are holding the knife incorrectly, like a surgeon, not like a chef!’”
Apart from advice on how to arrange a table, Adam has cocktail recipes including for a “Hanky-Panky”, and five menus, each with seven courses, to choose from.
For those hosting such parties he advises: “The more alcohol you consume, the worse your organisation ability becomes. Therefore, go steady with the champagne and wine… you need to have a clear head for the preparation and serving of most of the meal.”
In his book Adam, who attends NHS patients and those at private hospitals such as the Spire in Harpenden, writes that “surgery is very much a hands-on craft.
“Cooking is very similar … there is an absolute need to pay full attention to detail.
“Like good wine, good food works at its best when shared. An elegant dinner party is the ultimate expression of that collective desire to share a superlative experience.”
Hosting an Elegant Dinner Party: Surgeon in the Kitchen is available from surgeoninthekitchen.co.uk