The Star Bistro is a restaurant in Gloucestershire run by young people with physical, learning and behavioural difficulties as part of their studies at National Star College. Four of the restaurant’s staff Joe, Tristan, Rachel and Georgina together decided to enter Star Pimms Jelly, a dish they put on the menu, into Food Glorious Food.
The recipe is based on a Red Wine Summer Jelly devised by Matt, the head Chef at Star Bistro. However, Students Joe Cook, 20, and Tristan Blick, 20, suggested to Matt that the red wine should be replaced by fruitier, more summery Pimms. Tristan added that the local sparkling wine would make it even better. Rachel Janes, 21, decided on which fruits should be used in the jelly and Georgina Ivins, 19, who works on front of house, makes the gorgeous orange syrup that is served with the dish. All of them play a major role in making the dish as special as it is, but they couldn’t do it without the help and support of Bistro Manager and student trainer Tammy Holmes.
The Star Bistro is a joint venture between Wiggly Worm and the National Star College in the heart of the Cotswolds valley in Gloucestershire. The National Star College is a provider of specialist further education, training and personal development for young people aged 16 to 25 with complex physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated sensory, learning and behavioural difficulties. Their mission is simple: To enable people with disabilities to realise their potential through personalised learning, transition and lifestyle services.
Wiggly Worm is a charity that aims to help build confidence and self-esteem in vulnerable people, using food as a tool. They run projects for groups with disabilities, vulnerable young people and addicts to name a few, on a variety of challenging and inspiring cooking courses, giving the participants the skills and opportunity to do better. Star Bistro was set up in partnership between the two charities as a social enterprise within the college, enabling the students to gain work experience and training in a genuine catering environment.
Judge: Stacie Stewart
450g mixed berries, plus extra to garnish
3 mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
150ml Pimm’s No. 1
7 gelatine leaves
600ml sparkling wine, such as Three Choirs sparkling wine
330g caster sugar
3 sprigs of basil
For the confit orange zest
Zest of 7 oranges, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
For the orange syrup
Juice of 7 oranges
1 vanilla pod, split open lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
For the tuiles (makes about 20)
120g caster sugar
About 4 egg whites (120-140g in total)
100g plain flour
You will need 9 x 175ml dariole moulds or ramekins
1. Put the berries, mint and Pimm’s in a bowl, stir lightly and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
2. Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the wine, sugar and basil in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Squeeze any excess moisture out of the gelatine, then add to the wine mixture and stir until dissolved. Strain the Pimms into the pan, stir and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes or until it reaches room temperature.
4. Divide half the drained berries between nine 175ml (6fl oz) dariole moulds or ramekins. Half-fill the dishes with the wine mixture and refrigerate until set (about 1 hour). Once set, divide the remaining berries between the dishes and top up with the wine mixture. Refrigerate until set (about 1 hour).
5. To prepare the confit, finely slice the strips of zest. Put the sugar and water in a small pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the zest and simmer gently until soft.
6. To make the orange syrup, strain the orange juice into a saucepan. Add the sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, star anise, cinnamon and cloves. Place over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and simmer until the mixture coats back of spoon, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, strain and set aside to cool.
7. To make the tuiles, preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
8. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add the flour and mix again.
9. Using a palette knife, spread the mixture thinly into rectangles on a silicone baking mat. We do this using a rectangular template cut out of a thin plastic sheet (such as the plastic lid of an ice cream tub) to shape ours.
10. Sprinkle each tuile with ½ tsp sesame seeds, then bake for about 4 minutes, or until golden. Keep an eye on them, as they cook very fast. (The tuiles keep for ages and can be crisped up in the oven for a minute.)
11. To serve, place the darioles in hot water for 2 seconds, then invert on to serving plates. Garnish with the extra berries and mint leaves, sprinkle with the confit orange zest and drizzle over the orange syrup. Serve with the sesame tuiles.