Chefs Adam Reid and Tim Allen unite in the first of a series of exciting culinary collaborations for 2018

THE unrelenting daily grind of a chef’s life is no picnic. But a change is as good as a rest, which is why many top chefs can be found occasionally moonlighting in other kitchens.

Guest chef collaborations are great news for restaurant goers who get an opportunity to enjoy a one-off menu created by a top chef whose cooking is usually to be found much further away.

Following the success of a number of chef collaborations last year, Adam Reid has announced a series of special evenings throughout 2018 at The French in the Midland Hotel. 

The first took place on Wednesday night, alongside fellow Great British Menu contestant Tim Allen, former executive chef of the Michelin-starred Wild Rabbit in Kingham, Oxfordshire. Prior to that, Tim served as chef-patron at D&D London’s Launceston Place, helping the Kensington restaurant gain four AA rosettes and a Michelin star.

20180131 The French Cockles Spoon
Cockles on a spoon

Until recently, Allen was to become executive director of food and beverages at the Select Property Group, in charge of a new restaurant next to CitySuites apartments on Chapel Street, Salford.

However, the arrangement fell through at the end of last year, with the chef announcing on social media, "Life is full of twists and turns... Manchester is no more unfortunately - however, watch this space exciting news on the way for 2018."

Allen has since been announced as chef-partner of Daniel Clifford's Flitch of Bacon pub in Essex. 

Salford's loss is Dunmow's gain.

Tim Allen Chef
Allen was supposed to open a new restaurant in the city centre this year, however, that fell through

Many of the regions leading chefs, including Michael O'Hare of The Man Behind The Curtain and Rabbit in the Moon, and Steve Smith from the Freemasons at Wiswell, took the night off to attend the special one-off collaboration (arranged with Reid back when Allen had his sights on moving north) and enjoy the special seven course tasting menu. 

On the menu:

20180131 The French Salad
Winter vegetable salad, truffled curd, grain mustard and honey
20180131 The French Pie Soup Toast
Cheese and onion; pie, soup, toast
20180131 French Ar Mackerel
Cornish mackerel, Yorkshire rhubarb and frozen dill buttermilk
20180131 French Ar Duck
Aged duck breast slices over hidden beetroot and sour cherry
20180131 French Ar Apple Pud
Gold rush apple, vanilla cheesecake, maple verjus & lacquered pastry
20180131 French Ar Pear
Rosemary pear, ginger & malt ice cream, brown butter

Future chef collaborations at The French include: Kevin Tickle from The Michelin-starred Forest Side in the Lake District, on 14th March; Josh Eggleton from Michelin-starred pub Pony & Trap near Bristol, on Wednesday 11th April, and JP McMahon, who owns three restaurants in Galway, including the Michelin-starred Aniar, on Wednesday 18th July.

Further events will be revealed on Twitter, Facebook and by signing up to their newsletter.

Adam Reid at The French, Midland Hotel, Peter Street, M60 2DS

Adam Reid Apples
Adam Reid triumphed on the BBC's Great British Menu last year with his 'Golden Empire' dessert

Other upcoming chef collaborations:

- Celebrated chef Jean-Christophe Novelli (one-time mentor of Simon Rogan) will be cooking a five course Secret Supper at Don Giovanni on Oxford Road on Sunday 18th February, 7-11pm at £50pp.

- South African chef Ernst Van Zyl will be cooking a special one-off, five course, vegetarian menu at Beastro on 7 February. Dishes will all be in EVZ’s unique style, incorporating a variety of interesting flavours and textures. Tickets are £40pp (£50pp to sit at the chefs table.) During February, Van Zyl will also be guest cheffing at Grindsmith, Squid Ink and Real Junk Food Project.

20180110 Beastro New Tables
Beastro will host South African chef Ernst Van Zyl