Every week, Hodson and Co Cheese Room with Delicatessen in Aylsham turns into an after-hours delight as its owner, Chef Charlie Hodson, offers a Table for Two – or four – in his boutique shop. With the menu changing at every sitting, the only thing that you can guarantee is that there will be cheese in every course. Team nourish went along to enjoy the hottest ticket in town.
Charlie opened Hodson and Co Cheese Room with Delicatessen in October 2020 on Red Lion Street in Aylsham. The following year, he started his own ‘table for two’ after hours. “I love chefs’ tables, where you can speak to the chef and see what they are cooking while you relax and enjoy the food,” says Charlie. “One of my greatest pleasures is cooking for people, so I decided to bring the two together.”
Available on a Tuesday and Thursday night, Charlie hosts, cooks, and even washes up, all while sharing his passion for produce with his diners. “Almost everything that you eat tonight comes from within 28 miles of the deli,” explains Charlie. “We have some pretty amazing produce right here on our doorstep, and I love to showcase that through my cooking.”
Our eight-course tasting menu is Italian themed and, alongside, Charlie gifts us with a tiny taste of a specially selected wine chosen to complement each dish.
First out is a Staithe Smokehouse smoked scallop served inside roasted aglio [garlic] with pecorino pesto. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the pesto delicious. The beauty, and perhaps, canniness, of eating like this inside the shop is that you can mentally start building a shopping list for when you leave…!
A Tuscan tomato tarte tatin followed, which included goat cheese in the incredibly light and crisp puff pastry. And no Italian feast would be complete without burrata; Charlie served his with homemade lemon oil – complete with a small kick of ginger – gremolata, and a pecorino crisp; all delicious!
Staithe Smokehouse appeared again on the menu, this time with their salmon, which Charlie had cured with prosecco and beetroot, and served with capperi pickles. Ensuring zero waste, the liquid from the burrata went into the curing liquor.
The main course was pork and beef with asparagus and aubergine with pollo salsa. With it was a parmesan croquette, all crunch on the outside and soft and light in the centre, continuing that cheese theme with aplomb!
Keeping it French, the cheese course was next: black truffle pecorino with quince and homemade crackers, a treat to try, and then something sweet – aragostine hazelnut cioccolato with rhubarb and raspberry gelato. The goat cheese in the gelato made it possibly the favourite element of the night… To finish, a cup of coffee with a macaron filled with Baron Bigod, the perfect end to a journey through not only Norfolk, but the cheeses that so many of us love so well.
- Table for Two costs £190 for two. Find out more at www.hodsonco.co.uk