The Endurance hosts The Free Company
You may remember a few weeks ago I paid a visit to the Endurance for a lunch from Blanch and Shock. Sadly their residency is now over, but hot on their heels comes a young trio of chefs called The Free Company. Keen, adventurous and willing to have a go…David Boycott, Billy Stock and Josh Rhodes are a new generation of talent. We met up with David and Billy (Josh had been trecking across London with special equipment for their kitchen adventures and arrived toward the end of the interview) and were treated to an impromptu production of one of their dishes (we were offered more, but knowing we were going on to an eight course tasting menu that evening produced a little restrain on my part for once!). But our beautifully prepared chicken drumsticks were entirely moreish and we both kept sneaking back to take another taste…
The kitchen is being headed up by David who currently works at Opera Tavern, part of the Salt Yard group. He told us that he’d taken all his annual leave to do this sabbatical month but that, aged 22 it was a once in a lifetime chance that he felt he couldn’t miss.
David and Josh both studied at Oxford and developed their passion for innovative gastronomy there. Josh worked a stint in an investment bank when he graduated. but soon left to set up the Turl St Kitchen in Oxford, a social enterprise restaurant that focuses on the use of local produce to deliver a range of British & European cuisine. Then, David met up with Billy, a technically strong and creatively gifted chef , at Salt Yard Group. And the Free Company was born.
At lunchtimes during September the Free Company at the Endurance will be offering an earthy and autumnal menu with dishes like braised pork cheek with spiced pumpkin, cauliflower and moscatel sauce, king oyster mushroom with brasised shallot, charred onion jus, migas and pomme puree and autumn berries with milk biscuits, cassis and smoked vanilla marshmallow.
In the evening, as Soho comes to life it all changes and diners will be treated to some innovative streetfood including Bloody Mary doughnuts and wasabi popcorn.
And, as with Blanch and Shock, Saturdays will be a limited seat, reservation only tasting menu.
From what we saw and tasted everyone is in for a treat again, with similar pricing to the Blanch and Shock offerings, perhaps a slightly earthier lunch-time menu but the kind of culinary skills you normally only experience at places like Roganic.
Yet again, you have nothing to lose – pop in for lunch and try a small dish or two. Or book yourself a feast and go along to the Saturday superclub event.
I really love the Food Spectrum concept of taking promising young chefs and giving them their own playground for a month. And, of keeping the prices affordable with small plates around £6-8 and main courses around £11 and I’m hoping to get back there soon for a full meal.