Worcestershire chef masterclass with David McCaw
17:10 07 February 2010
'Cooking with love, healing with food' is the mantra by which shamanistic chef David McCaw lives. At the Eco Caf at The Fold, near Bransford, he presides over a kitchen that produces delicious food - for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans - all cooked with love and lashings of hemp oil. Photographs by Stuart Purfield
It's fair to say that the Eco Caf at The Fold, near Bransford is unique, writes Jane Sullivan.
It's a caf which serves good, wholesome, delicious, organically-grown, local food, which is not unique. What is unique is the spirit in which that food is cooked, for head chef David McCaw is passionate (and that's not a word I use lightly) about the quality of the food he prepares - food at the Eco Caf is grown and cooked with care and love in the belief that food cooked in this way will be a healing force for the person who eats it. Time is an essential ingredient of food at the Eco Caf - nothing is hurried. David believes that taking time to prepare food produces a rather different 'energy' to 'fast food'.
David is the Slow Food chef for Worcestershire and recently represented the group in Milan where he attended the Terre Madre - a get together of 7,000 like-minded slow food enthusiasts including 2,000 chefs. Another essential ingredient in many of David's dishes is hemp oil. "Hemp is the only product on the planet to contain essential fatty acids - the omega-3, 6 and 9s - in the correct proportions and quantities for good health, it is incredibly good for you," he says. Here, David shares two of his tastiest dishes from the Eco Caf menu.
Sprouted Chickpea Houmus with sun-dried tomato and coriander
Introducing raw food into my diet started with recipes like this. Try this for lunch and see how much lighter and energised you feel during the afternoon.
Adding hemp oil and ground hemp seed makes it very good for you, you can experiment if you add spinach or parsley it turns a lovely green and the combination with the hemp makes it a nutritional wonder!
Houmus and its flavour is one of those time-honoured kitchen discussions, very much up to personal taste, particularly concerning the amount of lemon and garlic you use. Check for both during the final seasoning.
100-150 grams of chickpeas (dry weight)
50 ml of hemp and/or olive oil
100 grams sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 bunch of coriander
Juice from 1-2 lemons
2-3 cloves of garlic
3-4 dessertspoons of tahini
100-200 ml of water
Salt and pepper to taste
First sprout your chickpeas. Refer to The Sprouted Garden for chickpea sprouting methods. See www.theshamanskitchen.com (under The Sprouted Garden)
Place the sprouted chickpeas and garlic and half the water in the food processor, pulsing until smooth.
Add the lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper, oil, sun-dried tomatoes and coriander, pulsing for two to three lots of 20- 30 seconds, scraping down the side of the blender each time. Now check the seasoning and consistency.
If necessary, to get a consistency that drops off the spoon, with the blender running add a little more water slowly through the top; it is this action of thinning down the houmus that gets it really smooth and fine.
Give a final taste test and store in a sealed container in the fridge. It will keep for two or three days, allowing you to make a different flavour another day.
Chilli roasted pumpkin and ginger tart (vegan)
For the base
Make up a batch of seed mix for savoury bases, approximately:
50 grams pumpkin and 100 grams sunflower seeds (finely ground)
50 grams whole hemp seed (finely ground)
To make the base: mix approximately 25 ml olive oil and a little salt with as much water as necessary to make a firm paste. Lightly oil the flan dish and line with the mix, pushing it out with a spatula to get an even finish, (it is optional to push the mix up the sides).
For the topping
150 grams sunflower seeds (finely ground)
25 grams pumpkin and sunflower seeds to decorate the top
1 kg net weight fresh pumpkin (or butternut squash)~ cut into small chunks N.B. Butternut Squash does not need peeling.
A little chilli powder, salt and black pepper
300 ml rice, soya or oat milk
Thumb length piece of ginger
Some light olive oil for frying and coating the pumpkin
1 Thick bottomed roasting dish
1x 8-inch flan dish (lightly oiled)
Preheated oven to 180C (Gas mark 4)
Cooking time total 40-45 minutes i.e. 20 minutes at 180C and 20 minutes at 200C (Gas mark 6)
In a bowl sprinkle a little chilli, salt and pepper to season the pumpkin and lace with a little oil, turn into baking dish and pop in the oven for 20 or so minutes until soft and golden. Grate the ginger on the fine side of the grater without peeling
Grind the sunflower seeds in the blender scrape out into a bowl. Now blend the roasted pumpkin, add milk alternative, ginger and pulse for 20 seconds or so till smooth and then combine with the ground sunflower seeds.
Pour the topping over the seed base in the dish, even out the top and sprinkle with the whole sunflower and pumpkin seeds and bake as instructed
As it is baking it rises slightly, starting at the sides and moving to the centre. When the centre is raised and it starts to leave the sides slightly it is cooked. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 5-10 minutes slice and serve.
Shaman Cookery Courses discount
David McCaw is offering Worcestershire Life readers a 25 per cent discount on cookery courses in May, June and July. Visit www.theshamanskitchen.com and click on events for details. Just mention that you are a Worcestershire Life reader when you book your course.
April events at The Fold
Tuesday 7th April is World Health Day. David, and nutritional herbalist, Christine Stewart, will be talking over lunch about health and food. There will be a collection box in the cafe for the month of April for Medicin Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders).
Wednesday 22nd April is Earth Day, the Big Green Bus from the Big Green Idea will be visiting, staffed by Brigit Strawbridge and her volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge on all things environmental. In the evening Cafe Philosophique (which is a bi-monthly event held here at the Fold which looks at and discusses various Philosophers and their philosophies), will be looking at Pythagoras and the theme is Harmony.
Thursday April 23rd World Book Day free hot drink to anyone buying a book (new or secondhand).