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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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London's White Horse at Parson's Green elevates pub cuisine

Mark Dorber brings his critical faculties, honed in decades of finance in the City, to the hard task of analysing a plate of crab and rocket pasta, set before me as part of a tasting of new pub fare.

"It's a bit dark, don't you think, but will taste rich and smooth," he assures me.

True enough, the rocket leaves browned in butter give the the top of the pasta almost a drab look, but the taste is phenomenal - the slight marine sweetness of the crabmeat, offset by the salty, buttery, crunch of the crisp leaves, well, it's not what I'd imagined as pub grub.

Ten years ago, when I first apprenticed in the pub kitchen at the White Horse (fondly nicknamed the Sloaney Pony), one of the house specialties was a simple sausage spiked with Bass Ale.

Now, the menu touts a house pate laced with chorizo and garlic. Paired with Adnams Broadside, a wonderful cask ale, the biscuity notes of the beer enhance the smooth meaty pate. It's a far different dining experience, in one of London's premier pubs, than what I recall from 1993.

Dorber now consults on beer dinners across the globe, from Coors to Staropramen. He's organized events for the British Guild of Beer Writers, as well as hosting dinners for private small local breweries.

Still, as the poster on wall says, it's the beer that matters most here. A partial listing of what's on tap or available from the cellar includes:

Australia: Coopers

Belgium: Boon, Cantillon, Duvel, Hoegaarden, Liefmans, Rodenbach, plus Trappists such as Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvletern

Czech: Budvar, Staropramen

England: Bass, Courage, Eldridge Pope, Freedom, Gales, Greene King, Lees, Whitbread and Yougs

Germany: Schneider, Schlenkerla

Scotland: Scottish & Newcastle, House of Traquair

And even the occasional guest tap goes to an American import, such as Anchor Steam Brewing Co.'s Holiday Ale.

Sample lunch menus include starters such as a salad of grilled goats cheese with pear & hazelnuts to be paired with Moinette Blonde-Saison Beer, an entree of salmon fishcake with tarragon mayonnaise & poached egg best served with Duvel, or a lamb burger with minted yoghurt dressing and potato wedges to be washed down with Anchor Steam beer.

Little wonder that Dorber is cited as an expert on cask ale and food pairings by experts such as Hattie Ellis, the author of EATING ENGLAND, Garrett Olive, author of the BREWMASTER'S TABLE, and Andrew Jefford, the entertaining broadcaster at BBC London.

In 2006, Mark and Sophie Dorber took the helm at The Anchor at Walberswick. Sophie’s insistence upon the freshest, seasonal, local produce, ensure that The Anchor at Walberswick is fast becoming a welcoming local and a gastronomic destination. With Mark's tutelage at the taps, The Anchor offers both refreshment and education for the palate. Write to info@anchoratwalberswick.com for more information.

www.beercook.com, Copyright © 2009-2002, by Lucy Saunders. All rights reserved. Note copyright of authors and recipe contributors in bylines and prefaces. Fee required for reprints in any commercial media.

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