May seasonal update

The Staff Canteen

From freshly caught langoustines to sweet apricots, read our May market report to find out what to feature on your menu this month.

A guide to cooking langoustine

Nephrops norvegicus - otherwise known as Norway Lobsters or Dublin Bay prawns, langoustines are closely related to lobsters.

In the past two decades, the pale orange crustaceans have become a staple of fine dining menus around the globe. More than a third of langoustine exports come from Scotland, as the creatures thrive in the country's cold freshwater lochs.

Check out these dishes by April Member of the Month, James Plowright, both featuring a langoustine sauce: Black bream, BBQ Pak Choi, Ratatouille and a BBQ seabass.

Watch London chef Jack Newton create a signature pasta recipe with crab and langoustine:

What can you use Kiwi for, and what should you pair it with?

Kiwi, Kiwifruit or Chinese Gooseberries is a woody vine berry, which, as its name indicates, originates in China. Kiwis got their moniker from New Zealand farmers, who named them for marketing export purposes in the 1970s.

Kiwis grow well in Europe, too; Italy is the world's second biggest exporter, after China and before New Zealand.

They can be cooked into tartlets, jams and even chutneys or served raw in fruit salads or salsas.

How to cook Mackerel

Imported mackerel will be available the whole year round, but shoals will hit the UK coasts in late April or May. The oily fish, whose flesh is slightly saltier than others, can be cooked whole and served not filleted, and is often found smoked or is made into pâté. This simple yet tasty pan-fried recipe is perfect for a light meal.

Cornish Mackerel Beetroot Horseradish and Buttermilk by Harry Kirkpatrick

Check out this dish, Cornish Mackerel Beetroot Horseradish and Buttermilk, by Harry Kirkpatrick, Head Chef at Michelin-starred restaurant, Trinity.

Simon Jewitt has also shared his recipe for cured mackerel tartare with jersey royals and pickled vegetables with The Staff Canteen members.

Which dishes can you use apricots in?

Apricots need warmth to grow, so southern, hotter European countries are ideal, as are Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Iran and these countries’ neighbours. The British apricot season will start in May and they can be used in pies, crumbles, jams, chutneys or are often dried. 

Check out Ryan Jones "Coronation chicken " terrine of banana blossom, plant bacon, coriander and apricot with coriander mayo, mini bhaji or this Apricot kernel mousse, barbecued apricot compote, brown butter & almond cake made by Thomas Stephens.


How do you cook asparagus?

It's officially British asparagus season - the short 8 week season runs from 23rd April to 21st June.  British asparagus is considered by many chefs to be the best in the world - this is due to our climate which allows the stems to develop slowly, producing a full, sweet flavour and a fine, tender texture.

Boil, grill, steam or roast them for perfect results, and serve with a dash of butter or Hollandaise sauce.

Why not try this Hogget belly loin shoulder with asparagus, spinach, hazelnut, preserved truffle Saxofrage and house rub hash brown by Calum Montgomery, Chef and Owner at the Edinbane Lodge?

New Forest asparagus with a warm salad of Portland crab, xo, crab pickled onions with pickled blackcurrant shoots and pickled spruce jam by Mike Naidoo

This recipe by Mike Naidoo uses New Forest asparagus with a warm salad of Portland crab, xo, crab pickled onions with pickled blackcurrant shoots and pickled spruce jam.

Watch Michelin star, Paul Walsh, Head Chef at City Social, cook a Herdwick lamb saddle, Wye Valley asparagus, wild garlic, braised morels, for the guests at our TSC Front of House Networking lunch back in April 2024: WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO COOK CARROTS?

Carrots are the nation's favourite vegetable – 75% of Britons say they eat carrots regularly.

Carrots shine whether boiled, steamed, roasted, or simply grated. As a seasonal delight, they peak during the summer months, typically coming into season in May.

Alex Standen creates a stunning seasonal vegetarian potato & onion pie, with a roasted carrot and watercress sauce on the side and Cameron Laidlaw crafts a dish with char sui OX cheek, crispy tounge and a braised carrot.

Vegetarian potato & onion pie, with a roasted carrot and watercress sauce on the side by Alex Standen

These are just few of seasonal recipes and dishes that our members have posted on their TSC accounts. Why not inspire others by sharing your seasonal recipes?

Don't forget that posting a recipe, photo, or video of your culinary creation can enhance your prospects of being chosen as the Member of the Month. 


Are you using any of these seasonal ingredients in your menus? Upload your pics and recipes to our Chef+ mobile app!


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st May 2024

May seasonal update