Chef Joshua Hunter is a classically trained chef, with eleven years of experience cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants such as Kitchen W8, Murano by Angela Hartnett, and La Trompette, as well as for celebrity private clients including the Beckham family and Tom Cruise.
In January 2019, Chef Joshua Hunter established restaurant Joshua Hunter at Holland & Holland, set in 60 acres of open countryside at the Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds in Northwood, within 35 minutes of central London and offering an idyllic country escape.
Creating mouthwatering dishes of outstanding quality, Joshua’s cooking focuses on modern British cuisine underpinned by an ethos of generosity. He takes inspiration from fresh, seasonal ingredients, using the very best produce available to create simple, unfussy dishes that prioritise flavour over everything else. Joshua has a passion for game and wild food, and believes that food seasonality is an essential way of contributing to a sustainable food system, as well as supporting British producers.
Joshua’s menus offer great value for money for food prepared to this standard. With two courses from £42.50 or three courses from £47.50, his latest menu features sublime dishes including, ‘Tartare of fallow deer, quail egg yolk, lion’s main mushroom, pickled shallots’, ‘Exmoor caviar, rye sourdough crumpet, potted brown shrimp, lemon butter, dill crème fraîche’, and ‘Whole roast Cornish turbot for two, Muscat grape, capers and parsley buerre noisette sauce’.
The restaurant itself oozes warmth and character, and has unsurprisingly become a main attraction of Northwood’s culinary offerings as the perfect place to spend time with loved ones, as well as for celebrations and corporate meetings. The restaurant is comprised of The Lodge, set out around a stunning feature fireplace (seats 30), The Conservatory Bar (seats 10), The Terrace overlooking the extensive grounds (seats 45), and the private dining rooms (seats 6 to 16). Also available is the Sautter cigar-tasting lounge, offering a large selection of New World cigars, and the Bordeaux Wine Room, which showcases over 1,200 of the finest wines.
Roast delica squash gnocchi, chanterelle and black trumpet mushrooms, red kale, smoked almond pesto, autumn truffle
For the Gnocchi
3 baking potatoes
1 small Delica squash or Crown Prince squash
50g pasta flour
3 egg yolks
Salt to taste
For the pesto
100g nibbed almonds – roasted
50g smoked oil – ‘Cotswold Gold’ smoked oil is my personal favourite
50g rapeseed oil
100g grated Parmesan
1 head of red kale
100g Black Trumpet mushrooms
100g Scottish yellow Chanterelle mushrooms
100g salted butter
1 bunch of thyme
1 small black autumn truffle
A small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
A splash of good truffle oil
First cut the pumpkin – skin on – into 12 wedges, about an inch thick. Scoop out the seeds and wrap three of them in foil with some olive oil and thyme. Pierce the baking potatoes and place them on some salt. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C fan, then bake both the wedges and the potatoes for an hour. Once cooked, remove and whilst as hot as you can bear (you may want to put on gloves!) cut them in half and scoop out the flesh before passing through a potato ricer – the flesh should be fluffy and quite dry. Do the same for the pumpkin, removing the skin. Put the pumpkin flesh back in a pan and cook out any remaining moisture for a couple of minutes, making sure it’s smooth.
Mix the egg yolks, salt, Parmesan and warm mashed pumpkin into a paste, fold in the warm mashed potato and then gently fold in the pasta flour until you have a dough. Be careful not to overwork it – you just want to bring it together.
Wash the wild mushrooms and pick out any leaves and debris. Sweat them gently in a little butter. Roast the remaining pumpkin wedges in a saucepan until nicely coloured. Be gentle, as the sugar in them will burn easily. Put these into the oven for 15 minutes until tender.
For the pesto, blitz the Parmesan with the oil in a food processor and fold through the roasted almonds.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the gnocchi dough into long sausage shapes. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3cm pieces. Put these onto a lightly floured tray and leave to set for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the gnocchi in simmering water until they float – they should slide in nicely off of your floured tray. From here, put them straight into iced water. Drain and dry them off well, then gently caramelise in a non-stick pan with some oil.
To finish – put some of the pesto onto the bottom of the plate, and then warm up the mushrooms and the kale in the same pan with some chopped parsley. Dress the plate with the pumpkin wedge, the gnocchi and wild mushroom kale mix. Finish with a few drops of truffle oil and a generous grating of black truffle.