Alex Walsh, Head Chef

The Deck, Butlins Bognor Regis

Pumpkin and Homemade Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

You will need:

  • 50g walnuts, chopped and toasted  

  • 20g grated ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or mashed into a paste with salt

  • 1 tsp lemon zest, plus juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tbsp)

  • 100g baby spinach  

  • 100g flat leaf parsley

  • Salt and pepper  

  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil

  • Flesh of 1 pumpkin, peeled and cut into ¾in cubes

  • 1 tsp sweet paprika  

  • Freshly grated nutmeg

  • 500g wholewheat penne  

  • 50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese  

  • Lightly salted, toasted pumpkin seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

  2. Place the first six ingredients and a little salt and pepper to taste in a food processor and turn the processor on. Add a little extra virgin olive oil to form a pesto sauce. Chill in the fridge until required.

  3. Drizzle the pumpkin cubes with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg. Roast on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, then turn the cubes over and roast for 15 further minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and a little salt. Cook following the packet instructions, until al dente (firm but not hard). Drain the pasta, return it to the hot pot. Add the pesto and toss to coat. Gently mix in the roasted pumpkin cubes. Serve with cheese and pumpkin seeds.

Stay at our Wave Hotel and Apartments at Butlins Bognor Regis, and add a Hotel Dining Plan, to get a taste of even more of Alex’s cooking. See butlins.com/dining

James Lynes, Head Chef

Butlins Minehead

Roasted Duck Breast with Dauphinoise Potatoes and Braised Cabbage

Serves 4

For the Dauphinoise potatoes:

  • 1kg baking potatoes, peeled and placed in a bowl of cold water

  • 3-4 cloves garlic 

  • 500ml double cream

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the duck breasts:

  • 4 duck breasts

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Salt, for rubbing  

For the braised cabbage:

  • 1 tsp olive oil  

  • ½ red cabbage, shredded

  • ½ onion, chopped

  • ½ pear, roughly chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 175ml red wine

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

  2. Slice the potatoes into thin slices, about 3mm thick. Place in a bowl. Trim the ends off the garlic cloves, but don’t peel them. Grate the garlic: the flesh will go through the holes, leaving the skins behind. Scrape the garlic flesh into the bowl with the potatoes. Season to taste. Pour over the cream and mix well, then place into a gratin dish, pressing down to form a solid layer that comes just below the top of the dish with the cream just below the top layer of potato. Place in the oven and bake for 1-1½ hours, or until completely tender.

  3. Meanwhile, rub the duck with salt. Heat a frying pan and fry the duck skin-side-down for 8-9 minutes, turning it halfway through. Remove from the heat and leave to rest.

  4. For the braised cabbage, heat the oil in a frying pan. 

  5. Add all the cabbage ingredients and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until the veg is tender.

  6. To serve, spoon the cabbage, gratin and any seasonal veg of your choice on to a plate. Carve the duck and arrange on top of the veg.

Get a taste of James’ culinary skills by adding a Premium or Food Court Dining Plan to your next booking at Butlins Minehead. See butlins.com/dining

Jason Birch, Head Chef

Butlins Skegness

Pavlova with Winter Mulled Fruits

Serves 6-8

For the meringue:

  • 6 egg whites

  • 350g caster sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp cornflour

  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 sprig mint leaves, to garnish

  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve

For the mulled fruits:

  • 6 cardamom pods

  • 6 cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 vanilla pod (seeds only)

  • 125ml glass red wine

  • 220g caster sugar

  • 150g apples, peeled and chopped

  • 150g cranberries

  • 250g pears, peeled and chopped

  • 150g grapes

  • 2 tsp arrowroot, dissolved with 80ml cold water

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Line two trays with baking paper.

  2. Whisk the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Using an electric whisk, fold in the vanilla, cornflour and vinegar. Place four dollops of meringue on each tray and use the spoon to make a small indent in each one. Reduce the oven to 120°C/250°F/Gas Mark ½ and bake for one hour. When cooked, switch off the oven but leave the meringues in it for a further 2-3 hours.

  3. For the fruit, tie the cardamom and cloves in a small piece of muslin. Place in a pan with the cinnamon, vanilla, wine and sugar. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, then reduce over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the fruit and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the arrowroot and simmer for a further 2 minutes until thickened. Cover and chill until needed, then remove the muslin-wrapped spices.

  4. To serve, place a scoop of ice cream in the centre of each meringue and spoon over the fruit and syrup. Garnish with mint leaves.

Experience Jason’s cookery talents by adding a Premium or Food Court Dining Plan to your next booking. See butlins.com/dining

Come dine with us

Mealtimes at Butlins are all about trying something new, eating together as a family, without you having to cook. And now we’ve made the experience even better with our Premium Dining Plans for those who want a more relaxed restaurant atmosphere, a wider choice of food and prefer to spend more time together at mealtimes. Here’s all you need to know:

All of our Premium Dining restaurants are ‘buffet style’ – great for young food explorers and appetites large and small.

Breakfasts are legendary with a full continental and English breakfast selection, plus kippers, pancakes and fresh omelettes – yum!

Our five-course dinners include cold starters, numerous options for your main meal, just as many dessert choices, cheese and crackers – oh and bottomless tea, coffee and juices.

And it’s all brilliant value for money!