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Chef's all-vegan feast looks Super.

A YOUNG vegan chef from Wallsend is bringing a taste of what he learned from two years in Italy to two special pop-up events in Newcastle city centre.

Alex Strettle, 20, will be showcasing his talents at Super Natural cafe on Grainger Street tomrrow evening and the following Saturday too.

Having just moved back to Tyneside after two years working in bars, restaurants and cafes in Italy, Alex, who was brought up vegan, is excited to be serving up a host of treats, and you can book tables now.

"One of my favourite things about vegan food is how simple it can be," he said. "I'm going to be showcasing some of my interpretations on Italian dishes with a vegan influence to try and show you don't necessarily need meat in a dish to make it enjoyable. "I'll be utilising a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs to try to break down some stereotypes of veganism.

"It's all going to be healthy and vegan and I'm hoping everyone has a really enjoyable night."

A former pupil of Monkseaton High School and student at Newcastle College, Alex gained his knowledge by, in his own words, "bluffing" his way into jobs in the Perugia area of Italy and being thrown in at the deep end.

He had no Italian and learned both the language and his culinary skills on the job over the course of his two years there.

"It has boosted my confidence and creativity and I learned so much over there. The Italians love their food and the emphasis is on everything being fresh and not processed.

"I used to invite colleagues and friends I made over there to dinner at mine and not tell them I was cooking vegan. I would serve them my vegan take on traditional Italian dishes and I loved the surprise on their faces and also the fact that they enjoyed the food too."

The Alex Strettle at Super Natural Cafe events start from 6.30pm on both Saturdays. To book your place, telephone 0191 447 3800.

WHAT WILL BE ON THE MENU? Two courses PS11.95; three courses PS14.95 Starters: Trio of bruschetta Classic olive pate and lemon cannelini Tartare di Zucchini Courgette with avocado and lime Roasted red pepper soup with crusty ciabatta bread Mains: Linguine with leek and pepper cream Spaghetti carbonara with shitake mushroom and herb crumb Aubergine cannelloni with Italian salsa verde Handmade Seitan burger and hand-cut fries Desserts: Mousse al cioccolato with strawberries Crema di Pere with Amaretti biscuit and roasted hazelnuts Some dishes are gluten-free and some can be gluten free on request.

GORDON BARR

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2017
Words:438
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