'Molecular gastronomy' at Courtyard Cafe

Food aficionados are set to flock to Winchester on 12 May for an evening of 'molecular gastronomy' at the Courtyard Café in Winchester Guildhall.

Forming part of Winchester's Bright Sparks celebrations - a year-long programme of science themed events marking Einstein Year and World Year of Physics - the café will be hosting a five-course gourmet dinner. The menu will be inspired by some of the world's most innovative chefs, many of whom are adopting a more scientific approach to cooking.

Hosted by journalist, restaurateur and former editor of the AA Restaurant Guide Simon Wright, the evening will lead diners on a mouthwatering expedition, discovering dishes inspired by the work of pioneers in 'molecular gastronomy' such as the triple Michelin-starred Heston Blumenthal.

"Food lovers will have heard of the exciting and challenging dishes being prepared in the kitchens of the Fat Duck (Berkshire), recently named the finest restaurant in the world, El Bulli (Spain) and the French Laundry (USA) among others, but very few are lucky enough to sample them for themselves. Taking these exceptional restaurants as its inspiration, the Courtyard Café will be offering gastronomes the chance to enjoy this exciting new style of cuisine closer to home," explained Glenn Prested, General Manager of Milburns who provide the catering services at the Guildhall.

The menu promises such delights as confit of salmon, spiced chicken and light chicken juices; tasting of melon (grilled watermelon with tomato, pistachio and reduced Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar, grilled honeydew melon with cassoulet of summer beans, potato wafers and rosemary jus), and scents of caramelised jumbo apricot, almond touron, lacy tuile and clotted cream.

Winchester City Council's Guildhall Manager Andrew Jacques said the Courtyard Café has long been a favourite daytime stop for residents and visitors to the city. "I am delighted that the café's evening programme has been reintroduced in such a distinctive way and hope that it will encourage more local people to check out Winchester Guildhall's events calendar when planning their next night out in the city."

Tickets for this gastronomic journey are available from the Courtyard Café at Winchester Guildhall and are only £30 per person. To reserve your place contact the Courtyard Café on 01962 622177.

Full details of other Bright Sparks events can be found on http://www.visitwinchester.co.uk/brightsparks.shtml or obtained from Winchester Tourist Information Centre on 01962 840500 or by e-mailing tourism@winchester.gov.uk