We spoke to Gather & Gather's Development Chef of Stadia & Events, Steven Morris, about his inspiration for the matchday menus at St Mary's and how local suppliers are at the heart of our thinking. Steven oversees the creation and delivery of menus in The Halo Lounge, whilst curating the entire matchday hospitality offering alongside our Executive Chef.
What inspires the likes of The Halo and 1885 menus?
The Halo & 1885 menus have emerged from using classic dishes, with modern cooking and serving techniques. Using fresh, local ingredients. Each dish is designed to keep guests wanting more. We try and evolve the menus game on game, so the guests have a new experience every time they come.
Tell us more about supporting local suppliers and how important that is?
Being able to use, and work with local suppliers, and growers such as, Chalk Stream Trout, Tunworth Cheese, Isle of Wight Blue Cheese, Black Garlic, and New Milton Wild Mushrooms... for a chef, is an absolute privilege! Being able to bring the local produce to life in our dishes, is an honour. I am extremely passionate about supporting our local guys.
What is your favorite dish you’ve created and served on a matchday?
Some of my favourite dishes we have served to date are:
• Chalk Stream Trout, pickled fennel & cucumber, dill emulsion
• Isle of Wight Blue, gingerbread, frozen black grapes
• Tunworth croquettes, pickled new forest blackberries
• Ham, egg & chips: Slow cooked New Milton ham hocks, Lymington mustard & tarragon mayo, fried quail egg, confit potato terrine
How do you continue to excite guests each matchday and keep menus varied?
Each matchday sees a different menu, with a change in most of the key ingredients. This is driven by the seasons and what produce is at its best at a given time. Each match, I take the time to talk to as many guests as I can, gathering feedback on their day, and in particular the food. One of the main things people say is how great it is that each game provides a new experience.