Spring – In conversation with Executive Chef Sam

15th April 2024

With winter finally behind us, we sought out Executive Chef Sam to discuss the long-awaited return of The Wild Rabbit’s seasonal supper clubs. Launching on Earth Day, this year’s celebration of spring menu offers light dishes full of green shoots and our favourite hyper-seasonal hero ingredients.

On arrival our guests will be offered seasonal canapes with a welcome drink, followed by an amuse bouche at the table before the tasting menu which features a mix of signature dishes and some experimental new arrivals. In true Wild Rabbit style, beneath each seemingly simple dish description lies a bewildering demonstration of thought and culinary skill.



Wild garlic dumpling with morel, broad bean

This is a special start to the menu; we’ve gone straight in with our hero ingredient wild garlic at the peak of its season, paired with morels – also at their prime – and broad beans just as they enter their harvesting window.

How do you make the most of something like wild garlic when it is only with us for a short time?

Our wild garlic is foraged from woodlands less than a mile away, so it’s hyper local as well as hyper seasonal. We are starting the menu with a true celebration of wild garlic, using it in a number of creative ways on the dish. For the dumpling we make a ‘chlorophyll’ paste by blending wild garlic with water, passing the liquid through a sieve and then bringing to a boil to separate the liquid like a consommé, except we keep the part that forms on the top. This is combined with the dough to produce a wonderful vibrant green pasta, which sits on top of a fricassée of morels, peas and broad beans. Each spring we produce a lot of wild garlic oil to use throughout the year, and that finishes this dish alongside a chiffonade of raw wild garlic leaves, pickled wild garlic buds from last year and a decoration of wild garlic flowers which deliver a bit of a punch.



Cured halibut, asparagus, nettle, crème fraîche

We’re featuring a micro seasonal vegetable in the asparagus and doubling down on the bright spring greens with nettle. Halibut is an interesting choice for a fish course, especially when creating a ballotine, which is more akin with poultry.

How does this dish come together?

Like most of the menu the halibut offers a super clean taste, and we are lightly curing it with salt, lemon and dill in a loose gravlax style to preserve that pure fish flavour. We’ll then run the nettles through the halibut in a paste before rolling everything into a ballotine, so when it is cut it gives a bright green mosaic effect. Also on the plate we’ll have Wye Valley asparagus two ways, cooked and pickled, finished off with crème fraiche to add a lactic acidity to the dish.



Saddle of rabbit with langoustine bisque, sweet cicely, spring greens

It wouldn’t be a Wild Rabbit menu without rabbit.

We are intrigued to see the pairing with langoustine and suspect it is something our guests won’t expect!

This dish is a play on surf and turf that offers a variety of different textures and flavours. The rabbit saddle is roasted, glazed with a rabbit sauce and then wrapped in rabbit bacon made from the cured loin cuts which wraps the meat in a lovely seasoning. The langoustine is finished on the barbecue and then glazed with a langoustine reduction, made using the leftover shells as well as a light bisque foam that is used with the gnocchi. The sweet crustacean glaze complements the salty rabbit bacon, and these lighter proteins are partnered with the aniseed notes from wild sweet cicely to add a seasonal green feature.


Baron Bigod with sourdough crumpet, pickled celery

We're thrilled to see a British soft cheese on the menu, particularly an artisan product still made by hand on a farm in Suffolk. Though it does seem a little heavier than the rest of the menu!

This is a reassuringly rich course after a few light ones! We are using surplus sourdough starter and adding salt, sugar and bicarb before baking it like a crumpet. Baron Bigod is a creamy, Brie-style cheese, which will be glazed and sat on the warm crumpet so that it melts through. It’s a rich dish which we will offset using pickled celery.



Rhubarb with Sorrel parfait, Italian meringue

A Wild Rabbit favourite to finish, earning its upgrade from a pre-dessert on the à la carte menu to our closing feature for spring tasting.

But it seems there a few tweaks to the winter recipe?

For spring we’re using fresh rhubarb from Daylesford’s market garden just a mile up the road, which has a more traditional, natural flavour than the forced rhubarb from Yorkshire used in our dishes over the winter. The rhubarb is macerated and cooked gently in its own juice, then combined with a rhubarb jelly. Instead of ice cream, we’ve made a vibrant green sorrel parfait that’s sweet, herbaceous and slightly acidic; this is hidden in sorrel meringues and decorated with sorrel leaf and sorrel flowers for added colour and acidity.

If you would like to book our Spring Supper Club select Monday 22nd April on the below booking link.

This is one of a series of supper clubs, click the link below to find out more.

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