Great British Menu chef George Farrugia inherited a love for cooking from his Cypriot family. Manchester born and bred, he decided he wanted to be a chef aged 21 after studying Law at university.
After graduating, he gave up on law to pursue his real love and joined Room restaurant, Manchester, under Pete Taylor, before moving on to the capital.
George’s first job in London was working for legendary French chef Pierre Koffmann at his eponymous restaurant in The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. After this he worked for several years under Michelin-starred Eric Chavot at Brasserie Chavot where the restaurant won a star and then as Head Chef at Bob Bob Ricard.
During his tenure as Head Chef at Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky Garden, London, George appeared in the 2020 series of the BBC’s Great British Menu, confirming his reputation as one of the UK’s rising culinary stars.
He would describe his cooking style as British European, with predominately Mediterranean flavours.
George’s Best Life moments were when he met his wife-to-be Jessie and the birth of their daughter Andria.
QUAIL, PISTACHIO STUFFING, WALNUT & POMEGRANATE
WALNUT and POMEGRANATE
Olive oil to cook
150g Walnut peeled/halves 150g
250g Banana shallots sliced (100g cooked)
1 Bay leaf
4 Garlic cloves
70g Cherry tomato
7g Ground cinnamon
14g Pomegranate molasses
400ml Chicken stock
Salt To taste
250g Pomegranate juice
Roast walnuts in oven, until golden. Then cool them and pulse until coarse texture/roughly chop.
Sweat sliced shallot in olive oil until sweet and golden, (not too hot a pan, you don’t want to fry them) then add chopped garlic, bay leaves, walnuts, for a few minutes.
Add spices and cook until raw spice taste has gone. Add brown chicken stock & reduce, needs to be reduced until thick. Add pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, and reduce until thick.
When needed reheat.
500g Pork shoulder minced
125g Lardo fat
6g Fine salt
3g Ground black pepper
1g Aleppo pepper
4g Fennel seed crushed
50g Olive oil
35g Fresh breadcrumbs
1 Whole egg
20g Chopped parsley
100g Chicken livers
Splash of Sherry vinegar
20g White wine
40g Peeled pistachio cut
Mix the pork shoulder, with wine and leave to marinade.
Dice the lardo, into strips and freeze, then dice and set aside.
Season and sear livers until medium rare, then deglaze with sherry vinegar, chill and chop.
Mix everything together gently, to not crush the texture; should be nice and coarse
QUAIL ASSEMBLY AND COOKING
1 Quail whole deboned
Salt/ ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle Olive oil
For the quail if you’r e brave enough to debone yourself, go for it! If not, ask your butcher to do so.
Season the quail both sides with salt, pepper and drizzle olive oil.
Then roll a handful of the stuffing to an “egg” shape, as the thinnest part will be between the two breast fillets, and the bottom half near the legs of quail.
Gently fold over the skin on both sides and secure with a couple of toothpicks. Leave to set in fridge, minimum 2 hours.
Then sear outside in moderately hot pan with a little oil, nice and golden, then place in oven at 180c for 15-20 minute, or until the centre is warm to touch; you can check this with a small skewer/cake needle.
Then allow to rest somewhere warm, for around 15-20 minutes.
When ready to serve warm up in the oven.
10g Pomegranate fresh seeds
2g Chopped chives
Few sprigs celery leaf
Olive oil to drizzle
5g Finely diced shallot
Roasted walnuts halves crushed sprinkle
Mix together all the elements and dress, as salad.
Place warmed walnut sauce on base, top with sliced/whole quail. Then add salad dressing around and serve.