Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Meet the Chef.....Ben Purton

Hello there,

Welcome back to another "meet the chef" blog post from Tea With Me and Friends, this time we are asking Executive Chef from the Lancaster London hotel Ben Purton our afternoon tea questions.

Executive Chef Ben Purton
You'll remember that Lorna and I enjoyed the afternoon tea created by Ben and his team just after Christmas and Lorna was rather impressed with his scones! So we decided we needed to find out more about the creative process behind this scrummy afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea at the Lancaster London

Chef Ben has worked at the Lancaster London since August 2014, and prior to this he was executive chef at The Royal Horseguards. So, let's find out if he is cream or jam first kinda guy.....

Q How long does it usually take you to create new afternoon teas?
It really depends - sometimes you can think of new ones all the time and others take longer to develop. We plan to have 4 changes per year and then a few themed ones thrown in too.

Q. Where does your inspiration for new teas come from? 
Everywhere and anywhere! It’s great seeing what other people are doing as you end up taking bits from all of them - sometimes you see things and think oh I have to do that. I love being creative and challenging the team - the bigger the challenge the better.

Q. So, what is your favourite part of your latest afternoon tea?
I love it all because it's a back to basics afternoon tea so we do the right things right etc but I have to say the flavoured savoury tarts and the raspberry and white chocolate lollipops are some of the best yet!!

Q. Do you enjoy a spot of afternoon tea yourself and have you tried tea anywhere else? 
I love it !! What's not to like, it's such a nice way to spend an afternoon - no rush, no hassle just tea, scones and maybe just a bit of bubbles. I love the Lancaster London afternoon tea (and who wouldn't) but I must confess that The Langham, The Goring and Browns do it very well too

Q. What is your favourite filling in an afternoon tea sandwich? 
Again I like them all but there is something to be said for a classic cucumber sandwich done right! Soft bread with salted butter layered with peeled sliced and seasoned soft flesh of cucumber - yum - most people don't like them because they don't do them right - we can all make smoked salmon and roast beef taste nice but there is an art to that one that I love.

Q. The all important question - do you put cream or jam on your scone first?
Oh come on - that's fighting talk and there is not an answer that will please everyone but as you asked ..... I'm a cream spooned on first making a perfect area for the jam to sit type of guy (I apologise in advance) When we pre split for passing at events etc we then top the scones with freeze dried strawberries too – lovely!

Q. If you could invite any guest to enjoy afternoon tea with you, who would it be and why? Wow - what a question! Too many to choose just one, but Bon Jovi is someone I'd love to spend an afternoon getting to know - I've always loved his music and passion for his trade and his songs are soundtracks to my youth and I'm sure he's a champagne, cucumber sandwich and cream first kind of guy too !!

It's good to know that Chef Ben prefers cream dolloped on his scones first and its brilliant to hear from someone so passionate about afternoon tea! I have to agree with him that the raspberry and white chocolate lollipops are really quite amazing!

Raspberry and white chocolate lollipops
at Lancaster London
I'd like to send a huge thank you to Chef Ben for his entertaining answers to our nosey afternoon tea questions! If you'd like to know more about the afternoon tea created by Chef Ben and his team pop by the Lancaster London website.

Thank you for popping by today,

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