Behind the Scenes, Getty Center

Traditional English Recipes with a California Flair

Shepherd’s pie and spotted dick enter the 21st century with these fabulous recipes from the chefs at the Getty Center Restaurant

Spotted Dick at the Restaurant at the Getty Center

A contemporary spin on Spotted Dick, the traditional English pudding made with dried fruit. Here it’s served with fruit compote and a creamy almond custard

To mark every special exhibition at the Getty Center, chefs at our Restaurant design special menus inspired by the art on view. Recent favorites have included Austrian schnitzel for the drawings of Gustav Klimt and a Hollywood power lunch for the photographs of Herb Ritts. This winter the special meals, offered daily for lunch and Saturday nights for dinner, take their cue from the medieval treasures in Canterbury and St. Albans, offering English favorites made contemporary and Californian. Along with elegant tea sandwiches inspired by afternoon tea at the Savoy in London, the lunch menu includes a gourmet version of the pub standby shepherd’s pie and a rich and delicious spotted dick, a fruity English pudding. “Spotted Dick is something they only do in the UK,” Restaurant chef de cuisine Matt Lee told me, “and for those who didn’t know what it was, I thought it would draw people in with curiosity.”

Matt shared the Restaurant’s recipes for the entree and dessert of this elegant and ever-so-English lunch. Enjoy!

Canterbury and St. Albans Lunch at the Getty Center Restaurant

Savoy Tea Sandwiches
Smoked salmon with pickled beets and dill cream
Cucumber and cream cheese
Egg salad with smoked paprika

Shepherd’s Pie
Certifed natural ground beef, globe carrots
Whipped potatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, tiny greens

Spotted Dick
Fruity sponge pudding, citrus, black currants
Hot almond custard

Shepherd's Pie at the Restaurant at the Getty Center

Shepherd’s Pie goes contemporary with herbs, Parmesan, and farmer’s market produce


Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4

5 lbs. ground beef
vegetable oil as needed
1 carrot, diced small
1 onion, diced small
3 stalks celery, diced small
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
3 bay leaves, fresh or dried
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled, mashed, and mixed with Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream, and butter
1 cup cream

Sauté ground beef with oil. Add all vegetables and seasonings until cooked. When finished, top with mashed potatoes and brown in oven. Garnish with fresh herbs and greens as desired.

Spotted Dick with Cranberry Compote and Almond Custard

Serves 4

Steamed Cake

9 Tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. milk
¼ cup dried fruit (cranberries and currants)

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add extract and milk, mix until incorporated. Add flour; mix on low speed until fully absorbed. Stir in dried fruit. Steam cakes in desired mold until the top springs back when pressed, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Cranberry Compote

12 oz. cranberries
7 oz. sugar
4 oz. orange juice
Zest of one orange

Cook ¾ of the cranberries with the sugar and orange juice until tender. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Return to the heat and stir in the remaining cranberries. Simmer one minute, then reserve to serve.

Almond Custard

1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. almond extract

Whisk to combine the yolks and half of the sugar. Set aside. Heat the cream with the remaining sugar until simmering. Slowly pour hot milk into egg yolk mixture while whisking. Return this mixture to the heat, and heat over medium heat while whisking. Cook until it bubbles. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve warm to serve.

English finger sandwiches at the Restaurant at the Getty Center

What’s more English than tea sandwiches?

Learn more about the Getty Center Restaurant and make a reservation here.

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      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.

      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

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      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 


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