Blaise-Inn Squad!

The Chefs’ Forum is a big family and we like to visit as many of our supporters as possible both to check-in and discover how they are doing.

So, it was with great pleasure when we arrived at Bristol’s Blaise Inn (Henbury) – The home of former Harvey Nichols chef Louise McCrimmon.

Louise has been a supporter of The Chefs’ Forum since the start in 2010 and her food is always a joy: Simple, expertly put-together and always delicious.

She lost her job with HN during the pandemic and for a while was at a loss as to what to do next. However, you can’t keep talent from shining for long and Louise took over Bristol’s The Blaise Inn at the end of 2021.

Two years after opening and the pandemic firmly in the rear view the business is going strong.

Over lunch we tasted a cross-section of the menu. A pint of prawns was classic as was the deliciously-light pea and mint soup. A starter of Gorgonzola panna cotta was well-judged.

Main courses that featured were the outstanding onglet served with great fries and a salsa verde. We also tried the hake and a superb crispy belly of lamb, which as a more forgotten cut was an absolute joy as we tried it for the first time (we’re still talking about how delicious it was).

For dessert we had to try the Wye Valley rhubarb jelly, which told us that Spring is finally here, with a short but delicious season spanning March to July – Perfection on a plate.

Afterwards Louise commented that though trading was still tough the menu was not too difficult to get out with just her and two chefs in the kitchen.

“The skill is in what to put on the menu,” she told us. “A great example is the onglet steak. It’s easy, not too expensive and very popular. I can’t take it off! I learnt a lot cooking at Harvey Nichols and translating that style for The Blaise Inn had resulted in a very nice restaurant for our locals.”

“We wish Louise well,” said Chefs’ Forum Director Catherine Farinha. “It’s great to see our early supporters doing well and continuing to teach the next generation. If you’re in the Bristol area make sure to pop in.”