PUBLISHED: 12:32 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:32 29 November 2016
Aurora is one of the most exciting spots on Ipswich’s Waterfront to enjoy great food and exciting cocktails. So we asked the team for some festive inspiration. Images: Sarah Lucy Brown
The Barman: Jack Butcher
The secret to a good cocktail is?
The way that the flavours of a cocktail are well balanced, and that you get every flavour throughout drinking that cocktail from start to finish.
Shaken or stirred?
Depends! If I was to have an vodka Martini it would have to be stirred, but shaking adds another element to the drink.
What sort of equipment do you need and how important is glassware?
To make most cocktails, you need a Boston tin and glass, a Hawthorne strainer, a fine strainer, ice and a glass. It doesn’t matter what glass, but I always like a Martini glass for cocktails.
How long have you been making cocktails?
About for three and a half years. Aurora is the spark for me in my cocktail-making career. It allowed me to broaden my horizons and expand my knowledge because of the extensive cocktail menu we have.
What’s your favourite?
It all depends on what mood I’m in. If I’ve had a hard day at work then it has to be an Old Fashioned because it just allows me to wind down and relax. If it was more of a night out with the lads, it would have to be a an old classic like a Long Island Ice Tea or a Passion Fruit and Elderflower Mojito.
Jack’s Christmas Cocktails
25ml Crème de Framboise 25ml
25ml Crème de Cacao Brun 25ml
25ml Absolut Vanille 25ml
25ml Milk/Cream 25ml
Garnish: 25ml Raspberry Puree 25ml
25ml Frangelico 25ml
25ml Tia Maria 25ml
25ml Baileys 25ml
25ml White Sugar 25ml
25ml Milk/Cream 25ml
Garnish: Chocolate sauce
25ml Dissoranno Amaretto 25ml
25ml Raspberry Puree 25ml
Taittinger Brut Reserve Top
50ml Woodford Reserve 50ml
25ml Brown Sugar 25ml
3 drops Angostura Bitters 3 drops
Garnish: Orange Peel 1 piece
50ml Havana Club 3yr 50ml
4 Fresh Lime 4 Wedges
25ml White Sugar 25ml
25ml Monin Gingerbread Syrup 25ml
Garnish: Mint Sprig
The Chef: Joe Gould
What’s your background as a chef?
My kitchen career started, like many, elbows deep in dirty pans and potato peelings in my local restaurant. Once an opportunity arose to get in the kitchen properly, I jumped at the chance. I went around the south of England working in country house hotels and restaurants, spending a year or two at each place, always targeting establishments with accolades. At 19 I went to work for a chef and team I’d always aspired to work with, John Campbell at Coworth Park, working under John Campbell and head chef Olly Rouse. It was a huge development journey for me, a kitchen operating well ahead of its time, which quickly earned a Michelin star.
After Coworth, I teamed up with Olly again, as his sous chef at the 5 star Lainston House Hotel, the most pivotal time of my career to date.
What’s on the menu at Aurora this autumn/winter?
We’re taking advantage of some of my favourite ingredients – venison, Jerusalem artichokes, salsify and beetroot are all featuring at the moment. In pastry, we have a Baileys crème brulee with aerated orange cocoa butter and cranberry shortbread – a big Christmas tease!
How will you spend Christmas? Cooking?
I will most definitely be in the kitchen at Aurora. Although Christmas time with the family is precious and rare, there is a huge satisfaction in providing others with a memorable and fun meal.
What’s your favourite dish?
For me, when it comes to favourite dishes, the latest is usually the greatest. The team’s newest creation is the best representation of where we are in our journey. Right now it is a smoked salmon and confit cod raviolo, with tomato consommé, baby turnips, horseradish, pickled fennel and basil oil. Our menus are constantly evolving – the buzz never goes.
Which chefs do you admire?
There many chefs I have admired over the years, some I have travelled across the country to meet, or just to get a table. Some I have changed career plans while half way through a starter in their restaurant.
But ultimately, I admire those who fill my kitchen today, skimming stocks, passing purees, deep cleaning and preparing staff food since early morning and won’t leave until late tonight. They listen, they respect and they devote their time to me and my vision. Many chefs have achieved great fame and culinary empires. But the guys prepping for dinner service tonight 10 feet away from me, they are my real heroes.
Aurora Bar and Restaurant