Walking into the grand Banking Hall in London you’ll be greeted by the train inspector of Laverstoke Express, a goblet of Bombay Sapphire and tonic and through the steam, glimpse the exciting new name behind the latest The Grand Journey, none other than Story’s head chef Tom Sellers.
Having adventured across Europe, the Laverstoke Express is back in London once again for one week only transporting lucky passengers on immersive gin journeys from 17th – 23rd July 2017 (www.thegrandjourney.com) . So it’s all aboard the train with Tom to understand the inspiration behind this journey to explore the 10 botanicals that make Bombay Sapphire the jewel in your drinks cabinet…
HOC: Cheers, Tom! Thanks for having us along on this journey. We’d love to know, what drew you to working with Bombay Sapphire on this concept?
TS: I’m a big fan of gin. The more I have learned about Bombay Sapphire and the dedication they have to building flavour in their gin made me want to get involved. I loved the concept of taking guests on a journey through the individual botanicals.
The food I create at Restaurant Story celebrates individual stories, be it from memory, history or literature. We wanted to translate that philosophy to The Grand Journey and create intelligent dishes that not only tell the story of Bombay Sapphire’s gin of ten journeys, but also enhance the flavours of the botanicals to work in harmony with the accompanying cocktails. Ultimately, we want to enhance this unique experience for the diners.
HOC: What was your favourite dish that you created for The Grand Journey?
TS: I love working with seafood so the scallop dish is probably my favourite. Using Spanish lemons in the dish really elevates the sweetness of the seafood and I chose to present the scallop both hot and cold so that guests could experience a range of flavours in one dish by using different methods in each presentation.
HOC: We know you as a chef who really cares about provenance of ingredients. Did you work with any botanicals that really surprised you?
TS: I spent a day at Laverstoke (the Bombay Sapphire distillery in Whitchurch) learning about the origins and flavours of each of their botanicals. Grains of Paradise is a West African pepper that I had never tried before and really stood out to me.
HOC: And finally (and, of course) , what’s your gin drink of choice?
TS: Gin and tonic. It’s a classic.
Cheers to that, Tom! Hurry #TeamCoco and jump onboard the Laverstoke Express for a journey of a lifetime; head over to www.thegrandjourney.com for tickets and more information.