12 days of christmas: lowe… (2018)

– In 2011, I met a young, clear-minded chef in Paris named James Lowe.  At the time, he was the head chef of St. John Bread & Wine in London. He would subsequently help found the Young Turks, a collaboration with fellow young guns Ben Greeno (who subsequently went on to open momofuku Seiobo in Sydney, […]


In 2011, I met a young, clear-minded chef in Paris named James Lowe.  At the time, he was the head chef of St. John Bread & Wine in London.

He would subsequently help found the Young Turks, a collaboration with fellow young guns Ben Greeno (who subsequently went on to open momofuku Seiobo in Sydney, Australia) and Isaac McHale (who now runs Clove Club in London, and who also cooked at the Twelve Days of Christmas in 2015).  Together, they made a name for themselves for their fresh and affordable approach to British cooking at pop-ups around the city, and later at Ten Bells, just a few doors down from St. John Bread & Wine at Spitalfields.  In 2014, Lowe moved on to open his own restaurant, Lyle’s, just up the road in Shoreditch.  I was able to visit Lyle’s at the top of 2016, a few months after the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star.

With all of this familiarity with Lowe from far, I was extremely excited to see him on this year’s list of guest chefs for The Twelve days of Christmas at The Restaurant at Meadowood.  He cooked on the fourth night.

It’s game season in England, and Lowe, who receives a lot of wild fowl at Lyle’s (I had teal – a fish-eating duck – when I ate at Lyle’s), wanted that represented in this dinner.  What followed was a steadying meal of deeply flavorful and soulfully satisfying dishes.

For a canapé, Lowe served fowl-liver pâté sandwiched between two thin slices of toasted gingerbread.  And there was mallard (duck), which Lowe put with mushrooms and figs.

Christopher Kostow and his team slaughtered a six year-old (Merino) ram (from Sally Fox’s merino wool farm) and served the mutton meat with cultured cream and a crumpet made of the ram’s fat. The flavor was incredible. I loved it.

One of my favorite dishes from this dinner was a salt-baked turnip that Kostow and his team served with gjetost and goat’s milk.  All of it was dressed in a meaty chicken jus flecked with black truffles.

For dessert, Lowe served a posset – traditionally, a curd of cream set with fruit acid (usually citrus).  Here, quince was steamed with cream, setting the curd with both acid and natural pectin.  This was served with poached and glazed quince and a meringue made with chestnuts.

Following is the entire menu from the fourth night of the Twelve Days of Christmas with chef James Lowe of Lyle’s in London, The United Kingdom.  Here is a link to all of the photos.


Game Liver
Damson plum, gingerbread.


Green Almonds
Treated like olives.

Shigoku Oyster
Assorted radishes.

(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

1st Course
Grilled Dried Mackerel
Plum, horseradish, mustard.

2nd Course
Salt-Baked Goldball Turnip
Gjetost, goat’s milk, black truffle.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

3rd Course
Black Cod
Celeriac, brown butter, citrus.

4th Course 
Hen of the woods mushrooms, fig.

5th Course
Sally Fox’s Mutton
Cultured cream, gormeh sabzi
mutton fat crumpets.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

6th Course
White Truffle-Veined Blue Cheese
Persimmon, fermented honey.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

7th Course
Quince Posset
Chestnut meringue.

8th Course
Westcombe Dairy Ricotta Ice Cream
Black currant leaf oil.

Wild Bird Fat Caramels

Warm Chestnuts
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Wine pairing.

Wine Pairing

Hermann J. Wiemer, Riesling, HJW Vineyard, 2013

Albert Grivault, Meursault Perrieres, 1er Cru, 2016

Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc, 1982

Favia “La Magdalena,” Red Wine 2008

Ronchi di Manzano “Picolit”

Day 4: Lowe

Below are links to my posts and photos from all Twelve Days of Christmas dinners I have attended. Each chef is listed with the restaurant with which they were cooking at the time they participated in the event (some have moved on to other projects and restaurants).


Scott Anderson (Elements; Princeton, New Jersey)
John & Karen Shields (Formerly of Townhouse; Chilhowie, Virginia)
Phillip Foss (EL Ideas; Chicago, Illinois)
Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions; San Francisco, California)
Jason Franey (Canlis Restaurant; Seattle, Washinton)
Matthias Merges (Yusho; Chicago, Illinois)
Mori Onodera (Formerly of Mori Sushi; Los Angeles, California)
James Syhabout (Commis; Oakland, California)
Nick Anderer (Maialino; New York, New York)
David Toutain (Agapé Substance; Paris, France)
Josh Habiger & Erik Anderson (The Catbird Seat; Nashville Tennessee)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Andy Ricker (Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon & New York, New York)
Rodolfo Guzman (Boragó; Santiago, Chile)
Carlo Mirarchi (Blanca and Roberta’s; Brooklyn, New York)
Tim Cushman (O Ya; Boston, Massachusetts)
Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner; Raleigh, North Carolina)
David Chang (Momofuku; New York, New York)
Matthew Accarrino (SPQR; San Francisco, California)
Mark Ladner & Brooks Headley (Del Posto; New York, New York)
Rasmus Kofoed (Geranium; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nicolaus Balla & Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine; San Francisco, California)
David Kinch (Manresa; Los Gatos, California)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Matthew Orlando (Amass; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Frank Castranovo & Frank Falcinelli (Frankies 457, Prime Meats; New York, New York)
Kobe Desramaults (In de Wulf; Dranouter, Belgium)
Alexandre Gauthier (La Grenouillère; La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
Blaine Wetzel (Willows Inn; Lummi Island, Washington)
Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s; Portland, Oregon)
Virgilio Martinez (Central; Lima, Peru)
Grant Achatz (Alinea; Chicago, Illinois)
Corey Lee (Benu; San Francisco, California)
Esben Holmboe Bang (Maaemo; Oslo, Norway)
Ignacio Mattos (Estela; New York, New York)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad; New York, New York)
Nenad Mlinarevic (Focus; Vitznau, Switzerland)
Christian Puglisi (relæ; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil; Mexico City, Mexico)
Joshua Skenes (Saison; San Francisco, California)
Matthew Wilkinson (Pope Joan; Melbourne, Australia)
Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan ([One]; Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Isaac McHale (The Clove Club; London, The United Kingdom)
Kyle Connaughton (Single Thread; Healdsburg, California)
Atsushi Tanaka (A.T. Restaurant; Paris, France)
Justin Yu (Oxheart; Houston, Texas)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Mark Lundgaard Nielsen (Kong Hans Kælder; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Manish Mehrotra (Indian Accents; New Dehli, India; New York, New York; London, U.K.)
Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hauske Valtierra (Contra & Wildair; New York, New York)
Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon & Tallula’s; Santa Monica, California)
Ben Sukle (birch & Oberlin; Providence, Rhode Island)
Sean Brock (McCrady’s, McCrady’s Tavern, Husk, & Minero; Charleston, South Carolina)
Yoshiaki Takazawa (Takazawa; Tokyo, Japan)
Thomas Keller (The French Laundry; Yountville, California)
Eric Werner (Hartwood; Tulum, Mexico)
Jock Zonfrillo (Orana; Adelaide, Australia)
Alexandre Couillon (La Marine; Noirmoutier, France)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique; San Juan, Puerto Rico)
David Pynt (Burnt Ends; Singapore)
Jessica Largey (Simone; Los Angeles, California)
James Lowe (Lyle’s; London, The United Kingdom)

Day 4: Lowe

Photos: James Lowe at pre-service line-up; David Guilloty breaking down 6-year ram head; William Blank basting duck; James Lowe plating; goldball turnip in the salt crust; basting quince; Christopher Kostow slicing blue cheese veined with white truffle butter; Kostow and Lowe in the kitchen; Westcombe Dairy ricotta ice cream; wine pairings for Night 4; James Lowe, William Blank and The Restaurant at Meadowood team; the menu and amenities for Night 4; Sally Fox’s merino ram head.

6-Year Merino Ram
Categories 12 days 2018

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1 reply on “12 days of christmas: lowe… (2018)”

Bonjwing, Good to catch up last night. I was pleased to learn of your interest in fishing. At some point I’ll share with you photos of the epic salmon we caught in BC. All the best. Gary Kostow

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