The Lakes Free Range Egg Company has been supplying The Gilpin with free-range Laid With Love brand of eggs since they reopened summer 2020 after the first Covid-19 lockdown relaxed.

Gilpin Hotel has two restaurants – the Michelin starred, four AA Rosette HRiSHi and the more casual pan Asian Gilpin Spice. Just up the road is Gilpin Lake House & Spa with 6 bedrooms and beautiful grounds. We visited The Gilpin to catch up with Executive Head Chef Hrishikesh Desai to hear first-hand, his thoughts on our Laid With Love eggs – a Lake District ingredient he uses every day.

Hrishikesh is keen to use and showcase Cumbrian ingredients. He combines great Lake District produce and classic methods to deliver unbelievable textures and flavours – modern British cuisine with a twist. The Lake District is lucky to have him, and we’re glad he discovered our eggs.

“Laid With Love eggs are incredible quality and some of the best I’ve seen in my career. They are incredibly consistent and stable every week and we know exactly when and where they are laid. They are very fresh, high on flavour and we love the intense golden yolks.”

Who is Hrishi?
Hrishikesh Desai decided to become a chef during a visit to France, when he witnessed a crème brûlée being blowtorched. He is down to earth, friendly, and welcoming and has a wealth of experience, having attended the Institute Paul Bocuse – an elite French International school of culinary art. Hrishi gained his experience working at Les Maison de Bricourt (two-star Michelin), Le Chateau de Bagnol (one-star Michelin) and Lucknam ‘The Park’ (one-star Michelin). He is one of the few chefs to have won both the Roux Scholarship (2009 on his first attempt) and the Craft Guild of Chef’s National Chef of the Year (2010).

Hrishi joined The Gilpin Hotel in March 2015, after winning BBC 2’s Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial, a programme that searched for a new head chef for the hotel after the owners, the Cunliffe family, failed to find the right person. He lives locally with his wife and two little girls. His hard work and dedication were rewarded soon after arriving, with a coveted Michelin star in the 2017 Michelin Guide for his restaurant HRiSHi an award that has been maintained ever since.

With 28 bedrooms in the hotel and 6 at the Lake House, there are plenty of breakfasts to serve every day and our Laid With Love eggs are the star of the show. But they are also a key component in other dishes too.

What makes Laid With Love eggs so special?

Hrishi summed our eggs by saying “Laid With Love eggs are incredible quality and some of the best I’ve seen in my career. They are incredibly consistent and stable every week and we know exactly when and where they are laid. They are very fresh, high on flavour and we love the intense golden yolks.”

“I was impressed by The Lakes team who challenged us when we wanted to check on the freshness – they are as fresh and consistent in quality as they claimed, so we are delighted. We also know when and where the eggs were laid and that they arrive here within a couple of days. The last eggs from the delivery are still as fresh as the first, and the albumen always stays nice and strong – that goes to show the freshness – even after a week in the fridge.

Breakfast is served
From 8 – 10.30, Gilpin guests enjoy breakfast. “We always serve two eggs for breakfasts and as our guests stay for a minimum of three nights (under current Covid restrictions), they do try different ways to have eggs for breakfast each morning. They usually try Eggs Royal/Benedict or Florentine first, then they opt for scrambled eggs and end their stay with a full English breakfast.

“We do sometimes get requests for Masala Omelettes – an Indian inspired breakfast option that’s spiced with garam masala and green chillies, but it’s poached eggs that usually win the day.

“Our poached eggs are done to perfection – cooked at 64 degrees in water bath, we like to create a swirling tornado before dropping the eggs in. There’s no salt, just a little vinegar, poached for 3 minutes then kept to one side and reheated for 3 minutes in clean water when we are ready to serve.

“It creates a lovely moneybag that releases the golden yolk inside.”

We asked how chefs manage to prepare breakfast so quickly and consistently to keep our eggs at their best. For breakfasts, the chefs poach ½ tray of eggs in 5 litres of water, with 200g vinegar for three minutes, then leave cold and reheat in fresh water to remove any trace of vinegar, for 3 minutes.

Hrishi is very picky about how to fry an egg – take a Blini pan and add a nob of butter to create a foam before dropping the egg in the pan and seasoning, “we never put fried eggs under the Salamander Grill, because we like to showcase the golden yolk to perfection.”

Eggs at home: At home, Hrishi loves a fried egg – and always cooks in butter – “it’s a crime to fry an egg in oil” Hrishi also knows he can buy retail packs of Laid With Love eggs close to home – from Booth’s supermarket.

Pasta perfection
Our golden yolk, free-range eggs are also a key ingredient in Hirishi’s homemade pasta which, he says, helps create the quality and softness as well as a lovely flavour.

… And if you are at The Gilpin for Afternoon Tea, you’ll find the tastiest egg sandwiches too.