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Bored of pumpkins? Check out this chef's guide to more exciting autumnal treats


Our resident chef Jonathan Carter has unearthed some top autumn treats for you. Have a go at home or head to a recommended restaurant, with these expert tips on where to find great seasonal grub right now.

Jonathan Carter has been in the hospitality business for 20 years. He was Sous Chef at the prestigious 3 AA Rosette Road Hole Restaurant in St Andrews, then worked his way up to Head Chef at Chimes Restaurant in the North West. After leading front-of-house management at The Rose & Crown in Warwick and The Almanack in Kenilworth, he’s now one half of Birmingham catering company Caviar & Chips.​

Okay, so there might be pumpkins everywhere right now, along with a million different recipes as to how to use them, but autumn is a season that throws up loads of other great ingredients.

Here’s a list of five of my favourites to look out for, and where you can tuck into them in Birmingham.

1. Roasted Cauliflower

We’re going to start with one of my favourite vegetables, the humble cauliflower. Forget the overcooked vegetable of your youth and think of al dente cauliflower cheese with a nice robust smoked Applewood cheese, or why not quarter it and roast it with spice - cumin and garlic works particularly well. 

Where to order it

If you’re more of a ‘try it out’, than a ‘cook it at home’ type, pop along to 1847. They do a Roasted Cauliflower with Pearl Barley and Almond Risotto, Baby Spinach and Cured Egg, which certainly does the modest cauliflower justice. 

2. Venison

Venison is the red meat that would beat any steak onto my ‘last supper’ menu. It has all the buttery texture of a fillet steak, but packs a great punch in terms of flavour.

It can also stand up to many a rich ingredient by its side, hence being paired with chocolate on occasions, or dark berries and whichever bottle of hearty red wine you might have ready to drink. 

Where to order it

Edmunds have a great dish with Loin of Scottish Venison paired with butternut squash, delightful dauphinoise potato, red wine pear, almonds and a rich venison jus to finish it off – this dish really is an autumnal must have. 

3. Parsnips

We’re back to vegetables again now, and another absolute must-have: parsnips. They are at their tastiest right now, and in abundance as well. Every roast in the next two months should feature roast parsnips in my opinion.

Take the woody centre out and roast with butter, maple syrup, pancetta and garlic for a side dish that will steal the show. 

Where to order them

It’s also a great way to start any meal - just pop down to The Physician at Edgbaston if you don’t believe me. They have a great Spiced Parsnip Soup with toasted seeds that will warm you to the very bottom of your heart. 

4. Wild Mushrooms and Truffles

Shitake or porcini, trompette or the mighty cep, the darker months bring out the best in the mushroom family. With their posh cousin the fine truffle, mushrooms are the heart and soul of autumnal food.

Whether you’re a daring forager, or an enthusiastic farmer's market frequenter, make the most of these wonderful fungi whilst you have the chance. 

Where to order them

The team at Opus have put together a wonderful celebration of wild mushrooms with their Leicestershire Wild Mushroom and Truffle Wellington.

Featuring mushrooms grown by The Livesey Bros wrapped in puff pastry, this wonderful dish is finished with king oyster mushroom and a white onion purée.

5. Partridge, Pigeon and Pheasant

Partridge, pigeon and pheasant are all exquisite game birds, and a great way to finish off our autumnal selection. Each is a headliner in its own right, bringing a different taste to the table and equally deserving of a mention.  

Each can be great as the star of a delicate pot roast, or pan-fried on the crown in plenty of butter to add colour to their delicate texture.

Where to order it

As we’re finishing with a bit of luxury we might as well go all the way to Adams for a great pigeon dish from his tasting menu. Perfectly complemented with brambles and earthy watercress, it’s a delicious way to enjoy the best that the season has to offer.  

Caviar & Chips: Award-Winning Catering in the Midlands

My catering company, Caviar and Chips, does weddings, corporate events, parties and celebrations. You can choose from set options or we'll design a menu that’s bespoke for you. Mention ‘Dine Birmingham’ when booking to get 5% off your bill.

Find out more on our website

Posted by Jonathan Carter (Sponsored)

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