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Stovell’s restaurant brings Mexico’s Day of the Dead to Chobham

PUBLISHED: 09:22 02 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:54 02 November 2016

Pescado a la Talla at Stovell's, Chobham

Pescado a la Talla at Stovell's, Chobham

Archant

Stovell’s restaurant in Chobham marks Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations with special seven-course tasting menu until Saturday November 5

Let’s wind the clock back a little and tell you how we came to fall in love.

A few years ago, my wife and I were invited up to the launch of a brand new restaurant in a beautifully historic building in Chobham.

This turned out to be the birth of Stovell’s.

There was Champagne, cocktails and canapés, as there tends to be at these sort of things, but that wasn’t what swept us off our feet.

That was the pata negra ham in the middle of the room, Fernando Stovell’s fierce passion, the soulful acoustic guitarist in the corner and, the clincher, spending the evening chatting to the chef patron’s obviously proud mother.

We were in love, we felt part of the family and we hadn’t even tasted the food...

Fortunately, when we returned to review the place a few weeks later it surpassed expectations: creative, stylish and utterly delicious food to excite and entice.

From then on, the national critics raved, the AA has seen fit to honour the restaurant with 4 AA rosettes (making it the highest ranked in Surrey in that particular guide) and, even if the Michelin star has failed to materialise for some reason, this is a place that many other people have continued to fall in love with since.

The cooking here comes from the heart and it’s really exciting therefore to see Stovell’s embracing Fernando’s heritage with a special Day of the Dead menu.

For those new to the term, this is a Mexican celebration full of music, food and conversation, which gathers family and friends to pray for and remember those they’ve lost over the years.

The event, which also promotes the annual maize harvest, is even included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Fernando has produced a special seven-course menu to mark the occasion and, as such, if you’re the kind of person who’s always looking to explore new flavours and foodie traditions, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more interesting option this month.

On the menu until Saturday November 5 are tantalising dishes like huitlacoche (a mushroom-like delicacy) ravioli, poblano and cheese curds, as well as aromatic “Pescado a la Talla” fish of the day prepared with guajillo and ancho chile - a dish Fernando first prepared on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen in February.

Born in Mexico City, Fernando moved to London to follow his dream of cooking before finding his way to the 16th century farmhouse in Chobham that became Stovell’s in 2012.

Surrey diners have been enjoying thrillingly unexpected foodie journeys ever since.

• The Day of the Dead tasting menu is priced at £78 per person. Stovell’s restaurant, Windsor Road, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8QS. Tel: 01276 858000. Web: stovells.com

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