Royale 2012: Venison haunch, crouton + pâté, blood and chocolate veil, nettle yoghurt bullet, edible sticks, fresh herbs [sorrel, wild garlic, nasturtium, miniature oxalis, baby carrot tops], vinegared wild garlic + chive flowers, petrified leeks, rosehip ‘blood spatters’ + fluid gel, nettle vinaigrette.

An attempt to lighten and modernise Venison Royale – the arguably less intimidating offspring of the revered hare dish, Lièvre à la Royale – without losing what makes it so glorious in the first place.

The original’s sauce, thickened with blood is the centrepiece of the dish – rich with minerals and astonishingly earthy. Here a smoother interpretation – a blend of blood, stock, port, wine and bitter chocolate – is turned into a soft, flexible (carrageenan and locust bean gum) gel veil to serve semi-melting. Crucially it also becomes the ‘earth’, with edible herbs sprouting directly from the lightly dusted dome – a fresh way to soften the artificiality and unfamiliarity of a savoury gel. Underneath (see the second image) sits trimmed venison haunch, a crouton, and an apppropriately roughly chopped pâté. To finish, a melting edible bullet (visible in the third picture) and preserved rosehip ‘blood’ to further sauce the plate: garnishes fit for a hunter’s treat.