Archive for May, 2011

The Urban ‘Caribbean fest!’

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Our Caribbean night!

We love a party and a bit of fun as much as the next person so to celebrate the season that is summer, we will be holding our very own ‘Caribbean fest’ on Friday June 24th.

We’ll have Caribbean themed BBQ on the go, some live music and an outside tiki bar serving cocktails and bottled beer.

Fancy dress is welcome too, so get your grass skirts, coconut bikini tops and hula necklaces at the ready! ;)

See you then. X

*Event in association with: Appleton Estate, Koko Kanu, Red Stripe and Wray & Nephew.

Urban team recruits Executive Chef

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Executive Chef Nigel Popps

We have recently welcomed new recruit, Nigel Popperwell, to the team!

Nigel, who has worked in the hospitality industry for over 25 years, joins as an Executive Chef across both Urban sites.  

Prior to joining the Urban group, Nigel has worked in a host of roles including: sailing around the world as a chef on the QE2, taking over from renowned chef Ainsley Harriet at the Westbury Hotel on Bond Street, as well as working within a number of hotels across Dorset where he gained a couple of rosettes for his culinary skills and expertise.

Nigel has also worked as a personal chef to a number of personalities such as, Duncan Bannatyne, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino and the heirs of Mercedes Benz, as well as to some members of the royal family. 

As part of his role at Urban, Nigel is responsible for overseeing the running of the kitchens at both sites and supporting owner, Mark Cribb, to continue to further develop the business.  

Nigel said: “I love the Urban brand and everything it stands for. It’s very laid-back, but at the same time very professional. I’ve always been very passionate about using local produce and this is also an Urban passion as everything we use is from Dorset, Hampshire or the West Country. It’s great to be able to educate the rest of the team and our customers, as to where their food is coming from. We are also developing our own ‘Urban farm’, so it’s exciting to be involved with helping to grow our own produce.

“My latest project is developing the decking area at Urban Reef and I’ve just had a food station built to help cater for the increasing demand out there. My new role at Urban is already proving to be a great and rewarding challenge.”

The Urban farm

Friday, May 13th, 2011

The first thing to start showing a bit of leaf! Potatoes :)

By now you might be familiar with our little Urban farm – our very own piece of Urban land in the New Forest. Well, if not this is our very own (leased) piece of Urban land in the New Forest.

We have great plans for this space long term, but as a good starting point we’ve been germinating seeds for the past eight weeks and have now planted carrots, parsnips, asparagus, potatoes, artichokes, onions and heaps of herbs and salad. We used to get really grumpy every time it rained, but now at least we can think of our happy thirsty veggies!

Now it’s underway, our crew will be taking it in turns to have a go at some planting and digging themselves, so keep an eye out for pics of the Urban clan getting stuck in!

Little seeds germinating away!

Popps’ confit of oriental duck

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Oriental duck dish

Our Exec Chef Nigel let us have this yummy recipe, so we thought we would share it with you fab folk. This dish is a great one for preparing the day before, so if you’re having a dinner party or eating ‘al fresco’ it saves any hassle!

The following recipe will serve two.


2 duck legs
Handful of watercress for the garnish

For the sauce mix together

200g plum sauce
200ml of orange juice
40g Chinese five spice
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
30g ground ginger

For the cabbage ball

1 Savoy cabbage
100g sliced button mushrooms
100ml double cream
½ small onion or two spring onions
A dash of salt and pepper

For the cous cous

A cup of cous cous
¼ red pepper
¼ orange pepper
½ red onion

Method – The duck

  • To start preheat your oven to between 120°c and 130°c.
  • Seal your duck legs quickly in a hot pan, remove them and place to one side.
  • In a separate saucepan add your plum sauce, orange juice, Chinese five spice, white wine vinegar and ginger. Give it all a little stir and slowly bring the pan to the boil. This will help all the yummy flavours to blend together.
  • In a small roasting pan or a saucepan without the handle, place your duck then pour the sauce over. Cover the duck by placing some foil over the top and then place in your preheated oven. You’ll need to cook it for about 2 hours to ensure all the flavours sink in.
  • If you’re cooking your duck the day before, a top tip for you is to strain your sauce and place it in the fridge overnight. This will ensure that any fat surfaces to the top and underneath the fat you’ll have a wonderful jelly like sauce! Discard the fat – or use it for your roast potatoes on Sunday ;)

Method – Cabbage ball         

  • At this time of the year we like to serve this dish with a cabbage ball.
  • Take the leaves off your Savoy cabbage and cook them separately. You’ll then need to chop the heart out of the cabbage and cook it.
  • Slice your mushrooms and chop your onions and cook them together in a little bit of cream.
  • Lay the large outside leaf out on the table with the veins showing. Then spoon the creamed mushrooms, chopped onions and some chopped cabbage into the leaf.
  • Fold the leaf over the mixture and fold tightly into a ball. You can use a tea towel wrapped around the cabbage ball to give it an extra squeeze. Once you’ve done this, wrap it in cling film and once cooled, place in the fridge.

Method – Cous cous

  • Cous cous is lovely and fresh at this time of the year, so we’d recommend it as the perfect accompaniment with your duck.
  • Place your cous cous into a bowl, then mix in your peppers and onion and pour on some boiling water. Not too much, you only need a fine covering, so be sure not to swamp it.
  • Cover it with cling film and let it stand for ten minutes.

Plating up

  • Now you’re ready to plate your food up, you just need to pull all the different elements together!
  • Place your duck legs back into the oven on 130°c for half an hour. While the duck is warming up, you’ll need to heat your sauce for a few minutes in a pan and your Savoy cabbage in some boiling water for 3 minutes.
  • Heat a plate up then, then pop your cous cous into a cup and then onto the plate. You’ll then have a little cous cous castle!
  • Place the cabbage ball next to the cous cous and then rest one of the duck legs onto the ball. Drizzle some of the sauce over the duck and garnish with a bit of watercress. Grab a bottle of lovely cold white wine (and two glasses) you’re then ready to tuck in!

 We hope you enjoy it ;)

Successful Boscombe Tea Party

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Boscombe Tea Party cupcakes

What a fab day Sunday was. A busy Bank Holiday weekend and a very busy Boscombe Tea Party event! 

We were kept on our toes on our little stand on the seafront where we nearly sold out of all of our cakes, and we also had some great company from our friends – Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and Olives et al, who were on neighbouring stands selling, well, Iced Coffee and some yummy olives, nuts and sauces. 

There were surfing competitions, live music and Alice in Wonderland actors galore, all helping to create a bustling and fun community event for the people of Boscombe and its surrounding areas. 

We hope to see the event return in 2012. X