If, like us, you’re glued to every cooking show there is on the BBC, then no doubt you’ll have seen Mark Stinchcombe lift the Masterchef Pro Crown in 2015.
Mark’s love of food began while he was still at school and at 16, he joined the kitchens of the acclaimed Royal Crescent in Bath on work experience.
From there he moved on to Ston Easton Park in Somerset, where he served for two years and began to learn how to create menus by using local and seasonal produce. At Michelin starred Driftwood in Cornwall, and under the tutelage of Chef Chris Eden, Mark began to hone his fine dining chef skills before departing to the ski slopes for a season of well-deserved fun!
On returning to the UK, Mark undertook training in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world including The Fat Duck, Le Manoir and The Square. Following this, he started working at Lucknam Park (under Chef Hywell Jones).
It was at Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham that Mark added classic French cuisine to his repertoire and also me his future wife Sue. Together they travelled to Australia, Thailand and New Zealand on a gastronomic culinary adventure.
Mark now runs the restaurant at Vale of Evesham’s Eckington Manor together with Sue and created this amazing asparagus recipe to support the region’s British Asparagus Festival.
Crispy Asparagus, Miso Mayonnaise, Sweetcorn & Asparagus Fritters
Ingredients for the Mayonnaise
1 tbsp of miso (fermented soy beans – you can get this from supermarkets)
3 tbsp of mayonnaise (homemade is best, but any mayo is great too!)
Ingredients for Crispy Asparagus
1 cup Yutaka panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with non stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine Panko and parmesan; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Working in batches, dredge asparagus in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
Place asparagus in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Ingredients for Sweetcorn & Asparagus Fritter
2 spears of raw asparagus, finely chopped
5 tbsp self raising flour
½ chilli, finely chopped (or as much as you like!)
Sprig of coriander, finely chopped (can be replaced with any herb, eg basil, chive, parsley)
2 egg whites, lightly whisked
Oil to deep fry
Salt & Pepper to taste
Blend sweetcorn to a puree in a food processor and then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the mixture, egg white, flour, chilli, asparagus and coriander; combine until you have a thick paste like dropping consistency. Carefully drop spoonfuls of mixture into deep fat fryer, pre heated to 170°C, cook until golden.
A big plate of miso mayo in the middle and fritters and fries served all around!