Getting to know… James Gaskell!

With the 2019/2020 season about to kick off, we wanted to find out more about James Gaskell who plays second row for Wasps Rugby.
We know he loves his food, let’s see what some of his favourites are!

Q: Are you a good cook?
James: I would say I’m pretty good at cooking; the amount we have to eat gives me an opportunity to practice a lot

Q: What would your ideal dinner party menu be?
James: Chicken wings in hot sauce with blue cheese dip followed by Reverse seared Boston chop, dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables with peppercorn sauce then finish with a cheeseboard!

Q: And who would be your ideal dinner party guest?
James: Barack Obama

Q: Was there anything you wouldn’t eat as a child that you enjoy now?
James: As a kid I was pretty good, the only thing I didn’t enjoy much was peanuts but now I can’t get enough of them!

Q: We know you probably don’t have them often but what’s your favourite takeaway food?
James: Favourite takeaway would be Thai – you can’t go wrong with a good Pad thai

 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
Quickfire Q&A

Favourite…

Rugby HeroCharlie Hodgson

Sporting HeroPeter Crouch

Football teamStoke City

TV ShowGame of Thrones

BandOasis

Drink Tea

Holiday DestinationThailand

 

See James and the rest of the Wasps in action on Saturday 21st September when they play their first home game of the season against Saracens!
Find out more here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Wasps Facebook

 

Bonne Anniversaire, Oscar’s! Celebrating 15 years of an independent, family-run restaurant in Leamington Spa

We’re a big fan of birthdays at Oscar’s – any excuse to get the champagne out! So when it came to celebrating our most recent birthday there was never a doubt that it would go with a bang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our much-loved French Steakhouse & Bistro, owned by high street heroes Aubrey Allen, invited a handful of close friends to join the party on (what better day than arguably the biggest National Festival in France which celebrates independence?) Bastille Day with fizz, canapes, memories and lots of laughs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owner Russell Allen said “Oscars is simple food served well and we are delighted to see how it has gone from strength to strength. Independent restaurants are a rarity on high streets and you have to give guests great food every time and a wonderful experience. Our team and our offering is better than ever and we’re busier than ever.”

At the party Russell thanked the small, hard-working team for their service, and in particular gave thanks to local legend Pascal who has been at the restaurant since day one. 

For more information about our Michelin-recommended restaurant including menus and to book a table online visit the website here 

New season lamb – do you know the difference?

Down in the south coast of England, the quality of lamb is so good, it’s recognised with a PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication). This area is also one of the more abundant areas in the country for lambs, and having dealt with our suppliers for over 25 years we are able to get the pick of the flock!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of these lambs are bred from Dorset sheep. Dorset’s are a great, fast growing breed, but there is something that makes them extra special – they are the only breed of sheep which are able to lamb all year round! In addition to this, the South West is known for having a better climate that the rest of the country and the grass is of great quality. This in turn helps to push the lambs on slightly quicker to achieve a greater level of finish.

Take a look at why Russell Allen thinks our new season lamb is worth shouting about!


 

To order please call the team on 01926 311208 or email shop@aubreyallen.co.uk 

 

Aubrey’s Best in Show 🐾

With the paws officially on the doors, the Aubrey Allen team came up with a fitting celebration for National Butchers Week and Crufts, both taking place at the beginning of March.

Aubrey’s Best in Show gave our dog-loving team the chance to thank our wonderful pack of loyal four-legged followers and welcome some friendly new faces.
With categories such as ‘Best Beard’, ‘Bravest’ and ‘Most Polite’ every pup that visited during the three-day shop event went home with their very own certificate and a bag of delicious doggy biscuit bones.

The event also saw the launch of our new doggy deli range including Denzel’s high-protein and nut butter dog chews and premium, hand-baked treats from The Dog Treat Company, all available in the shop.

Is your dog featured in our gallery? 🐾

Aubrey’s team get spicy in the kitchen for National Curry Week!

The nation’s favourite dish is also a team favourite here at Aubrey Allen! With statistics published in 2016 stating that Britons spend over £30k on curry in their lifetime it’s no surprise that National Curry Week has tickled the tastebuds of the Aubrey’s team.

To celebrate National Curry Week we challenged seven members of the team to each cook a curry over seven days and here’s what we discovered…

  1. Quick and easy or low and slow – it’s up to you! Busy mum Claire wanted a family-friendly curry in a hurry and looked to the ready-prepared spice mixes available in the shop. Adding a bhuna Spice Pot to her diced chicken supremes and natural yoghurt she created a delicious dish in no time at all leaving her with plenty of time to spend with the family and plan the next cheese of the week in the shop!

    Sophie had an afternoon to herself and dedicated it to her slow cook shin of beef recipe starting by making a spice paste from scratch. Cooking low and slow allowed Sophie to carry on with the new shop slideshow graphics while she waited. The finished result? A Thai red beef curry jam-packed with flavour!

  2. No meat, no problem! If you hadn’t already heard, Aubrey Allen is #MoreThanAButcher and we challenged Zara (self-confessed cheese addict) to a meat-free dish. Halloumi was the perfect alternative and Zara created a Cauliflower & Halloumi curry sure to tempt vegetarians and meat lovers alike.
  3. It’s not just chicken…For those used to cooking their curries with chicken we can definitely recommend stepping out of your comfort zone!
    For Sarah, cooking with pork was limited to grilling bacon on a Sunday morning but with 400g of diced pork she made a spicy pork bhuna in less than an hour leaving her plenty of time to check in on the company’s social media pages.

    ‘Captain’ Simon Kelly wasn’t afraid of the challenge and created a fantastic spicy shoulder of lamb cooked on the bone for maximum flavour.

  4.  Cooking on a budget? Curry’s the one…A few handy spice jars from the cupboard, stock, fresh or frozen vegetables and meat from our Monday special offer range and you’ve got yourself a delicious, nutritious dish without spending a fortune.
    Every Monday is special offer day and you can find the shop full of great meat at great prices. Beef mince, chicken supremes, lamb joints, steaks, even ready made curries and casseroles! Take a look and fill your freezer ready for the next curry night at home!

    Cal used lamb mince (part of our Monday special offers) and plenty of chilli (he’s the mastermind behind the crazy-hot burgers we do!) with a hint of North African flavours using dried apricots and almonds.

    Resident Masterchef, Robin, used his day off to rustle up a fragrant lamb curry – and that was after he’d made over 100 portions of curry to sell on the meat counter!

    So there you have it – curry for all tastes, budgets, couples and families and as hot or as mild as you like.
    What’s your favourite meat to use in curry? Let us know!

    Claire’s curry in a hurry

    Sophie’s slow cooked Thai Red Curry

    Zara’s Halloumi curry

    Sarah’s Pork Bhuna

    Simon’s slow cooked lamb on the bone

    Cal’s super speedy lamb curry

    Robin’s fragrant diced lamb

C’est magnifique! We’re helping Oscar’s celebrate the Best of Bordeaux

The annual Bordeaux Dinner at Oscar’s French Steakhouse and Bistro is a firm favourite in the Aubrey Allen calendar and a perfect lead up to the colder months.
This year’s event is being held on Thursday 8th November and we can’t wait! As always, Lindsay from Wine Poole will be on hand to introduce the wines.

The evening starts with an Oscar’s standard – french bread, olives and saucisson, paired beautifully with white Bordeaux. It’s all about the aperitif!

Dishes of Shellfish Bisque and Fish Terrine with Watercress sauce will be enjoyed alongside a 2015 Bordeaux blanc which has delicious flavours of peach and apricot.

The main course is a sight to behold – Aubrey’s Sirloin of Beef with Short Rib Pie, Roasted Carrots, Savoy Cabbage and Claret Sauce. We’d be there for that dish alone! Paired with a St Emilion Grand Cru it’s bound to be spectacular.

A regional evening at Oscar’s wouldn’t be complete without a cheese course and the finest Brie de Meaux from our cheese shop is a real crowd-pleaser.

If that wasn’t enough the sweet tooth will be satisfied with the final course – a dessert of Apple and Frangipane Tart with Cognac Cream and a glass of dessert wine to make you smile.

We’ll be there – how about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For bookings call Pascal on 01926 452807 or email bookings@oscarsfrenchbistro.co.uk

Aubrey brings home the bacon!

Is there anything more comforting than the smell of bacon cooking on a weekend morning? The tea is brewing, the bread is buttered and the ongoing argument of which sauce to have – red or brown? Or neither?! – is only just heard over the sizzling rashers almost reaching the perfect place between chewy and crisp.

Imagine those bacon sandwiches that you’re used to…only better!

With our knowledge of bacon, and passion for doing the right thing in the right way it was only a matter of time before we started to produce our own bacon.
Want to know why Aubrey’s home cured bacon is so good?

  • Low water content for full flavour
  • We have a commitment to ethical sourcing and so all of the pigs we use are English outdoor-bred gilt pigs with full traceability #happypigs
  • we built our own state-of-the-art bacon room to focus on creating the very best product
  • its all cured in-house by our dedicated team
  • our rashers are cut to a thickness that you’ll love

MD Russell Allen can tell you more…

 

So next time you’re in have a try of our delicious home-cured bacon and let us know what you think!

What to buy the food lover in your life? The search is over…

Stuck for that perfect present…the one they’ll always remember? Or maybe it seems like they already have everything they need? Now you can call off the search…

Aubrey Allen’s butchery school is the perfect gift for the ‘foodie’ in your life! And now you can book a place or buy vouchers online!

With over 60 years’ experience between them, our Master Butchers will teach you some great practical skills and help you get more from the meat you buy from Aubrey Allen.

The class will consist of:

  • Introduction and why provenance and animal welfare matter
  • Overview of the meat and its provenance
  • How to care for your knives and sharpen them correctly
  • How to get the most from your chicken including making stuffing and stock
  • Providing you with the skills to turn whole roasting joints into smaller cuts enabling you to get more for your money
  • Introduction on how to make sausages using a selection of ingredients before you have a go at making your own
  • Supper with a glass of wine or two.

All the meat used is yours to take away. We will provide you with overalls and tools, and you are more than welcome to bring your own knives for the knife sharpening tutorial. Sounds like fun? That’s what we want it to be…informal, fun and entertaining in a relaxed environment…a great learning experience.

We challenged the Wasps Rugby team to an evening learning basic butchery skills – see how they got on!

If you need further information take a look at an article reviewing one of our very first Butchery Schools here.

To buy a gift voucher online simply head to our online gift shop or call us on 01926 311208.

There’s plenty to be proud about at the 2018 Pride of Warwick District Awards!

Does it get much better than being named Business of the Year?
Seeing the smiles on the faces of the Aubrey’s team upon winning the award at the Chesford Grange in September you’d be right in thinking it doesn’t!

Surrounded by fantastic local businesses and community heroes, the team enjoyed an evening celebrating those things that make this region so great to be a part of.

It’s been a busy couple of years for the Leamington Spa shop… pop-up restaurants, seasonal collection launches, weekly support of local charities, the installation of a fantastic cheese shop – we  use the tagline more than a butcher with pride. Our award-winning meat sits alongside vegetarian dishes prepared by our in-house chef, picnics and gift hampers, not forgetting our brilliant Butchery School and customer loyalty card.

And plans for the next 12 months? There’s no time to rest on our laurels…it’s all about being better than ever!
MD Russell Allen says “the team work so hard and strive to be better every day . They come to me with ideas which is how you want it to be and they always put the client experience first. You have to give more today than ever before as internet shopping takes over; we have to be even better and find products and people to delight our guests every day”

Take a look at all of the winners at this year’s Pride of Warwick District awards here –

 

www.102touchfm.co.uk/pride-of-warwick-district-finalists/

Beer and music – a perfect match!

There’s few things we love more than enjoying a nice cold beer while listening to fantastic music and this weekend we can do it on our doorstep!

The Leamington Beer & Music Festival is back for the 4th year and we can’t wait to sample one (or two!) of the 75+ real ales, ciders, gins and wines from a variety of local and national brewers that will be on offer.

We’re delighted to be sponsoring a barrel so maybe we’ll see you down there for a taste of our beer – all in the name of research, of course!

The Leamington Beer + Music Festival is a CAMRA supported charity event to raise money for the The Band Factory, which supports numerous local community music and arts groups throughout Warwickshire.

For more information visit leamingtonbeerfestival.org/