Lunch with James Knappett

Sure, festival food has come a long way since the only hope of sustenance came in the form of a bitterly disappointing burger pattie, probably containing minimal meat from an unidentified source, on a cardboard bun from the back of a van. But Wilderness festival has raised the food bar to immeasurably tasty heights. As well as gourmet street food, banqueting halls hosted by top chefs and cookery classes, there’s also the opportunity to have intimate meals in the ‘chef’s table’ tent.James Knappett WildernessLast Sunday we were lucky enough to grab a spot at a 12-course lunch prepared by the incredibly talented James Knappett and his team. We loved what James has done at Bubbledogs and we thought he might serve something similar – he surprised us completely. Erhmaguuuuuurd it was good.

Have you ever washed down oysters with Laurent Perrier champagne with last night’s glitter still stuck to your face? Devoured truffle-shaved homemade pasta with a cool glass of Pouiley Fume with wellies on your feet or licked gooseberry yoghurt parfait in a tent in the middle of a field? No? It sounds pretty fabulous doesn’t it?

Here are some of snaps from the experience, prepare to drool.

We we served…

1) Fresh oysters decorated with wild fennel flowers and crushed ice James Knappett Wilderness-72) Air-dried beef on a pearl barely cracker James Knappett Wilderness-3

3) Skin of a chicken, rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam. BACON JAM. Who knew bacon would work so well in a jam?! James Knappett Wilderness-84) Hand-dived Scottish scallops with raw pickled ginger mayonnaise & smoked scallop roescallops5) Pan-fried Brill from Cornwall and charred sweetcorn in a miso butter with tarragonJames Knappett Wilderness-96) Cauliflower florets, the stalk was served as a crudite with rose hip yoghurt and pickled brown butter almonds. This was one of my favourite dishes and I don’t even like cauliflower – it was heaven on a plate. James Knappett Wilderness-27) Handmade pasta with truffle shavings coated in a truffle and champagne sauceJames Knappett Wilderness-118) Beef from a Devon cow cooked on the BBQ with a green egg sauce and English peas in a mint juice and a béarnaise sauce James Knappett Wilderness-19) BBQ peaches and marscapone with lemon, honey and thyme leavesJames Knappett Wilderness-1310) Ricotta and english cherries with basil James Knappett Wilderness-411) Gooseberry yoghurt parfait, unripe almonds finely chopped tips of sprouting Christmas trees (yes really, Christmas trees!)James Knappett Wilderness-1412 ) Chocolate coated cookie with caramel James Knappett Wilderness-15James Knappett Wilderness-16

It was a real treat to see how James and his team work together and to have him explain each dish in such detail. Who knew the tips of sprouting Christmas trees is a real thing in cooking?

It was the most perfect and deliciously decadent end to our Wilderness adventure. My mouth is watering just thinking about the food.

Sign me up for next year. James Knappett Wilderness-5James Knappett Wilderness-12

We attended Wilderness Festival as guests of Smashbox.

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