Recipe: Salmon in Chess Valley watercress and cider

FOR a Frenchman, award-winning chef Claude Paillet is unusually enthusiastic about English food. His work at the Bricklayers Arms in Flaunden, holder of a host of awards for its food including a Michelin Guide entry, is dedicated to it, contrary to the notion that he produces some sort of fusion. 'The idea comes from the fact I am French,' he explains. 'If I were Italian, people no doubt would call it Italian-English fusion.'His simple salmon recipe for summer is typical. It forms part of the new-season menu just introduced at the Bricklayers, along with a smattering of new dishes such as a piccalilli and pork terrine that progress Claude's philosophy. He says, 'What we try to do is use recipes that have been maybe a bit abandoned by the English - the slowly-cooked meats, using things like oysters a bit more, different kinds of pies, locally-made sausages using free-range pork. 'English traditional is where we are at and I'm happy to say it seems to be working - people still like the idea of the old values.'Ingredients (serves 8)Half a side of organic fed salmon, skin on1 litre cider150g sea salt100g demerara sugar800g chopped watercress1 tsp coriander powder1 tsp cumin powder1 tsp crushed black pepper1 fresh lemon1 orange1 leek1 large carrotMethodPlace the fillet of salmon in a tray (suitable size to fit in your fridge). Cover with the mix of salt, sugar and herbs and spices. Sprinkle with the washed and chopped lemon, orange, leek, watercress, carrot, add the cider and cover with cling film. Keep in fridge for three days and slice thinly. Sprinkle the plate with a bit of the marinade, thinly chopped, and serve with rye bread and a salad.BOOK A TABLEThe Bricklayers ArmsHogpits Bottom, Flaunden HP3 0PH01442