Chef Series: Michael Notman-Watt, The Syndicate Kitchen

Our Chef Series Recipes champion the talented chefs that we work with and aim to help you make the most of the delicious, seasonal produce that is readily available. English Sparkling Wines pair fantastically with food so if we can inspire people to be drinking more of our wines with their meals then all the better!

With this in mind, the second recipe in our Chef Series has been prepared by the fantastic Michael Notman-Watt of The Syndicate Kitchen. He's the brilliant chef behind our Wine Pairing Dinners in the vineyard, so for those of you who've joined us in the past you'll be very familiar with Michael's delicious cooking!

Awarded Young Sussex Chef of the Year in 2018, he was previously Head Chef at 64Degrees in Brighton before starting his own project, The Syndicate Kitchen. Here Michael works with producers and craftspeople from every walk of life to put on bespoke food-led experiences around the UK celebrating sustainability and the bonds people can create around food. Michael can be followed on Instagram at @thesyndicatekitchen



(Makes 6)



For the Turnovers:

1 Sheet Ready-Rolled Puff Pastry (or if you fancy making your own, below we’ve attached an additional recipe for Rough Puff Pastry)
200g Rhubarb
50g Softened Unsalted Butter
60g Caster Sugar
50g Dark Muscovado Sugar
100g Ground Almonds
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon 
1 tsp Pink Peppercorns - roughly ground in a pestle & mortar
1 Egg Yolk 
1 Egg (Beaten for the glaze)
Demerara Sugar

For the Cheat’s White Chocolate Custard

200g Whole Milk 
200g White Chocolate (chips or a bar broken into small pieces)
1 Lemon (zested)

  1. Wash and cut the rhubarb into half-inch pieces. Place in a bowl and combine with the caster sugar, before putting aside for later.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the butter, muscovado sugar, cinnamon and pink peppercorns. Beat it until smooth, then add the egg yolk and the ground almonds. Beat again until smooth.
  3. Combine the chopped rhubarb with the almond mix.
  4. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, lay out the sheet of puff pastry and cut into 6 squares. Divide the rhubarb mixture into the centre of each puff pastry square, then fold the pastry across diagonally to form triangles. Using a fork, crimp together the edges then transfer the turnovers to the prepared baking tray, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  6. Place the tray into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  7. Once chilled, cut 3 or 4 small slits in the top of each turnover then brush them with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the turnovers generously with the demerara sugar.
  8. Bake for 20/25 minutes until golden and puffed. Once cooked, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly.
  9. In the meantime, it’s time to make your Cheat’s Custard. Add the lemon zest to the milk in a medium heavy-based saucepan and slowly bring it to the boil. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and whisk in the white chocolate until melted. 
  10. Serve the turnover with liberal lashings of custard and enjoy with a glass of Wiston Rosé NV. (With notes of rhubarb and red berry, this wine is utterly delicious with this dessert!)


300g Plain Flour 
1 tsp Table Salt
225g Cold Unsalted Butter cut into half-inch pieces
Approximately 150g - 175g of Ice-Cold Water

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and add the butter pieces. Without working the butter too much, gently coat the butter pieces in flour. You must have large chunks of butter!
  2. Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the water, mixing it until you have a firm, rough dough, adding extra water if needed.
  3. Wrap and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and gently form into a smooth rectangle.
  5. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm. Keep edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect. Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. This is the first fold.
  6. Give the dough a quarter turn to the left and repeat the above process again. This is the second fold. Wrap and leave to rest again in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn out onto a lightly floured board again and with the crease facing you, give the dough a quarter turn to the left and repeat the above process again. This is the third turn.
  8. Give the dough a quarter turn to the left and repeat the folding process for the 4th and final time. Wrap and leave to rest again in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  9. The dough is now ready to roll. Use half to make 6 turnovers.
  10. Roll into a square about the thickness of a £2 coin and follow the turnover recipe.