It was sometime last year that I was introduced to Terri Mercieca through a mutual friend, with the thought of creating some tantalising images for her on a secret pitch she was doing. That secret pitch went well indeed and today Terri has her own spot in the food halls at Harrods.
Terri has recently released her new range with spring in mind and invited me to a little tasting of her wares. Here’s a little bit about her before I go on to tell you about her gorgeous creations.
Where are you from?
I was born in Sydney Australia
At what age did you realise you had a passion for cooking and was it desserts straight away?
When I started my apprenticeship as a Chef, the first section I learnt was desserts with my Chef tutor Stewart, it was so exciting and I’d never seen anything like it before. During my apprenticeship I spent most of those 4 years on desserts, and I decided it was best to continue that path. I felt a synergy with it. You can be creative and precise at the same time, it’s delicious and you don’t smell like garlic.
What does your role in your business involve?
It’s a very small business with a small team so I am involved in almost all the aspects of it. Aside from Harrods, we have other clients and I Supply ice cream sandwiches to a few venues. We will hopefully be setting up our own location too in 2017.
Could you tell us the quick journey of how you ended up in Harrods and how you felt about it?
Gerald from the Friday Beer kindly recommended us to Harrods, then we had a series of tastings and were accepted to supply desserts from September last year. I was over the moon, never had I even imagined this as a possibility. It’s been the most amazing journey and learning experience. I love working with the team at Harrods, it pushes me to do my best. The latest menu is one of my best to date.
And now, onto Terri’s new range. The first one I tried was the Rhubarb & Fraise de Bois Self-Saucing Cheesecake. Rhubarb is one of my favourite flavours it brings back fond memories of my childhood. The Cheesecake was creamy yet light and the berry milk crumbs added a great contrasting texture. The subtle fizziness of the sparkling wine topped it all off and was great little addition.
Next for me to dig my spoon into was the Bergamot Posset. Terri said that this was her take on a Gin and Tonic and it was certainly refreshing on the palate. There were so many complex flavours to this one, some unexpected but they flattered each other and had balance, clever.
There were many more to savour…
The Fevertree Jelly and the marshmallows were exciting and fresh, I could have eaten a whole box of the marshmallows.
The mandarin and juniper cream with fresh citrus fruits made my taste buds tingle and the pistachio and olive sponge was light and fluffy.
The Passionfruit Pina Colada Deliciousness simply was as named, Terri called it her “Australian Dream”. The delightful combination of coconut panna cotta, passionfruit and coconut macaroon clusters took me away to a beach with the sun on my face alongside a grass-roofed bar-hut.
The Pickled Pineapple (done so in a rice wine vinegar) the Key-lime pie cream, and the coriander were fantastic opposites of the luxurious panna cotta and left my mouth invigorated.
Next I tried the Blood orange Negroni bavarois, I love blood orange but I’d never been a fan of Negroni. Until that Moment! If I had to choose a favourite, it would be this one. The contrast of the sharp blood orange and the silky white chocolate were a tribute when combined with the bitterness of the Negroni. The flavour of the dark cocoa nibs took the extreme flavours to an ethereal level. It was simply exquisite. I would like another right now.
Terri’s pièce de résistance was the Chocolate Pecan Mouse. Original Beans Femme de Virunga 55% milk chocolate mousse, pratinella, sable breton, whipped maple cream and popping chocolate twigs.
It was a bounty of chocolate, maple, cream, more chocolate and the fun of the popping twigs. It was deep, velvety, luxurious and lavish. A must for any chocolate lover.
I know for a fact that Terri starts prepping at 4.30am and you can certainly taste the love, dedication and passion that goes into every single one. If you are passing by Harrods, I would highly recommend you pop in and treat yourself.
If you would like to keep up with Terri Mercieca and her work Terri is on Twitter @fraiseSauvage
Restaurant Openings and Reviews Editor, Majella O’Connell