Bruno Loubet, who earned a Michelin star as head chef at the Inn on the Park, and now has two of his own restaurants, was kind enough to name our quinoa as one of his four cupboard essentials.
So I decided to pop along to his new venture, the Grain Store, near Kings Cross to say hi and see what he was rustling up with it. The Grain Store is a powerful new concept, where vegetables and grains take pride of place on the plate, with meat playing second fiddle. This unusual reversal of roles earned him the accolade of the 9th best restaurant in the UK, despite being open for only four months, sitting between two 2star Michelin restaurants in the rankings.
Bruno racing about in his kitchen
On the menu today was a Quinoa Tamale, normally served with a small amount of pork, the latter which I decided to skip on given it was only 11am.
The tamale is prepared with sweet corn that is cooked with caramelised onions, garlic, chipotle chili and a little apple juice. The apple juice adds a soft sweetness to the whole, which accompanies the delicate chili taste. Once this is cooked, the uncooked pearl quinoa is added and wrapped in a corn husk, to allow the quinoa to naturally absorb the juices of the sweet corn mix. To serve it is heated over a wood oven for about 10 minutes to be warmed through and allow the quinoa to cook a little and the corn husk to char.
Presentationally wonderful and a delicate roundness to a full vegetable palette,
balanced between a very light sweetness and delicate zing of the chili.