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Experience A Five Star Hotel At Home With These Recipes From Red Carnation Hotel Collection

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You may not be able to visit one of the many five star luxury boutique hotels or resorts owned by the Red Carnation Hotel Collection in the near future, but you can eat just as well at home by preparing a recipe featured by one of its restaurants.

The hotel company, which encompasses such well-known properties as The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Bushmans Kloof (recently featured in Forbes “The Travel Trend of the Future: Luxury Resorts That Grow Their Own Food”) and The Oyster Box in South Africa as well as The Chesterfield Mayfair and Hotel 41 in London and Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, is well-known for its excellent cuisine. One reason why the company’s food and beverage offerings are so high regarded is because Beatrice “Bea” Tollman, the founder and president of the hotel company, is a gourmet chef in her own regard—-and author of a cookbook entitled “A Life in Food”.

The book is a celebration of recipes that have either been passed down through the Tollman family, were developed by Bea Tollman personally, or were discovered during her extensive global travels. (“A Life in Food” is available at all Red Carnation Hotels and by mail order, priced £25.00 with all the proceeds going to Bea Tollman's favorite charities including Starlight Children’s Foundation and The Tick Tock Club at Great Ormond Street in the United Kingdom).

Red Carnation HotelsA Life in Food | Bea Tollman

Tollman, a legendary hotelier who was recently awarded the prestigious British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Award, continues to work closely with her team of chefs around the world to develop the menus featured at each of the company’s restaurants. Several of Tollman’s signature recipes are featured at Red Carnation Hotel Collection’s hotel properties. Here are a few of her favorite, most famous recipes, each of which can be replicated at home and with ingredients that are easily sourced.

Bea Tollman’s Famous Chicken Burger

Bea Tollman created this recipe for The Colony Restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa, when she was trying to find an alternative to the classic beef burger. It was through experimentation in the kitchen that she discovered the perfect recipe for chicken burgers. During this time, the film “Zulu” with Michael Caine and Stanley Baker was being filmed in South Africa. “The two actors would often come to our restaurant to dine on their days off,” Tollman recalls. “They loved the chicken burger so much that I would make batches of them to take back to the set. They are easy to make, and are fantastic with almost any salad as a side dish.”


(To serve four people)

1 large chicken (around 1kg)

1 liter chicken stock (homemade or store bought)

1 organic chicken bouillon cube

25 g butter

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped onion, browned

fresh ground pepper to taste

vegetable oil


Poach the chicken in the stock mixed with a little water for about 30 minutes until half cooked. Keep the stock

Remove all skin and bones and roughly chop up the meat in the food processor, or by hand. Sauté the onion in a little vegetable oil until golden brown and most of the moisture is gone - then set aside. Crumble and mix the chicken bouillon cube with 1 tablespoon of the reserved chicken stock.

Melt the butter and combine with the chicken and mix together some of the butter mixture with the parsley, onion, chopped chicken and pepper. Add more butter if needed – the mixture should not be too moist

Shape into burgers about the same size of your favorite hamburger – personally, I like a thickness of around 3 cm.

In a pre-heated non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the burgers (not too close together) until golden brown and crispy. Cook the other side of the burgers in the same way. Do not press down while cooking, as this removes the moisture and makes the burger too dry

Serve with a side of mango chutney.

Bea Tollman’s Lamb in Puff Pastry

Bea Tollman originally made this dish years ago for the famous French chef, Raymond Oliver, whenever he visited. Oliver, one of the great chefs of the postwar France (for 35 years Oliver ran the world-renowned Le Grand Vefour restaurant on the Rue de Beaujolais in the Palais-Royal district of Paris which boasted a famous clientele that included Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, The Aga Khan and David Rockefeller among many other luminaries).


1.5 kg lean lamb from the leg cut into 3cm

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, minced or finely chopped

3 celery sticks, minced or finely chopped

1 sprig each fresh rosemary and thyme

1 cup seasoned flour

salt, pepper, ground ginger and paprika (to taste)

1 liter stock (lamb, vegetable or chicken)

vegetable oil

1 egg yolk


In a large roasting pan (with cover) heat 100ml of oil, then brown the celery, carrots and onion over medium heat. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Dust the lamb cubes lightly in the seasoned flour then brown on all sides turning frequently, in the same oil.

Add a little of the stock to start creating the sauce, then add the reserved vegetables and the thyme and rosemary. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned particles of meat into the liquid. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for an hour or so until the lamb in very tender and the sauce has reduced to a thickened consistency. Adjust the seasoning, then cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.

Form the lamb into a loaf, wrap in puff pastry, and brush the pastry with egg yolk. Put the loaf on a baking sheet with the seam underneath. Cook at 200°C for about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven until nicely browned. Allow to cool for a minute, then slice at the table about three to four centimeters thick (serves twelve).

Bea Tollman’s Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe: An All-Time Favorite Dessert At Red Carnation Hotels

This vanilla cheesecake is a classic, crowd pleasing dessert created by the Red Carnation Hotels founder herself. A simple but seriously delicious vanilla cheesecake, Bea Tollman spent years getting the recipe just right and the dish is currently available in several properties within the Red Carnation Hotel Collection portfolio including The Old Government House Hotel & Spa in Guernsey (Channel Islands), The Milestone Hotel & Residences in London and Bushmans Kloof in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa (see our recent article The Travel Trend of The Future: Luxury Resorts That Grow Their Own Food).


1.35 kg Philadelphia cream cheese

6 eggs, separated (room temperature)

350g granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, spilt and seeds scraped out

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

450 ml sour cream

1 pinch kosher salt

20 cm spring mold


450 ml sour cream

50 g sugar


250 g finely ground digestive biscuit crumbs

65 g white sugar

120 g butter, melted

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional) 


For the crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended. Press the mixture into the mold to ensure a thin, consistent layer and bake at 190°C for 7 minutes. Leave to cool, then chill for an hour.

Whip the cream cheese and half the sugar. Add the egg yolks, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, salt and sour cream, and whip thoroughly, scraping the bowl.

Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar. Fold the whites into the cheese mixture and very gently pour into the prepared pan. Wrap the bottom of the mold pan and place in a water bath. Bake in the oven for an hour at 180°C, then turn off the heat and allow to remain in the oven for another hour. Remove, cool on a rack, and then refrigerate for 12 hours.

To finish, pre-heat the oven to 100°C. Mix the sour cream and sugar for the topping, top the chilled cheesecake, and bake for 20 minutes. Finally, chill for 24 hours before serving.

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