A Celebration of Welsh Lamb at Chapel 1877!
On Monday (13) January, The Chefs’ Forum’s first event of 2020 saw nearly seventy guests gathered at Chapel 1877 in Cardiff. It was great to celebrate the lively Welsh food scene of culinary excellence with so many esteemed chefs and business owners in attendance from Cardiff and beyond.
Chefs in attendance included Mocka Lounge, St David’s Hotel, The Clink, Vale Resort, Stick Fingers Streat Food, Restaurant ETC, Cardiff Metropolitan University and many, many more. There was a great buzz about the room and Ryan and his team proved the perfect hosts!
Head Chef Ryan Mitchell welcomed students from Coleg Gwent and Cardiff and Vale College to create stunning canapés for the chefs and front of house professionals who attended the event. The Chefs’ Forum has also implemented a Chefs’ Forum Academy at Coleg Gwen which involves chefs being sent into the college to teach the students on a weekly basis.
The delicious canapés created by Ryan and the students were:
- Confit and roasted pork belly, black pudding mousse, butternut squash, black cabbage, sage jus
- Smoked duck breast ham, beetroot salsa, orange and watercress salad
- Tart of curried smoked Haddock and spring onion, soft boiled quail’s egg, saffron mayonnaise
- Lemon and thyme brulee
- Dark chocolate and orange nemesis, yoghurt bavoir, mandarin sorbet
Wednesday 29th January 2020 will see a fantastic showcase of culinary expertise, canapés, cookery demos and butchery take place at Marriott St Pierre (Chepstow) to showcase the industry and drive registrations to Coleg Gwent hospitality courses for the coming academic year among 250 GCSE students from local feeder schools.
As Ryan was setting up the demo stage for his lamb dish, Paul da Costa Greaves introduced Koppert Cress and told the chefs about the stunning range of micro greens and micro cresses available to them. The chefs were transfixed with the beautiful array of Micro Greens, Micro Herbs and edible flowers on display at The Chapel.
“You can ask your current veg supplier to source Koppert Cress for you and we can support you with it’s use in your menus. Koppert Cress is brilliant to add flavour and beauty to your dishes and can be used to boost nutritional value as well as aesthetic appearance.”
Next, Ryan took to the stage with Coleg Gwent Level two students Harry Marsh and Sian Phillips (both 17) to cook one of his signature dishes of Ras el hanout Welsh lamb with spiced couscous, pomegranate and lime yoghurt. Emily Rees of Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) also talked through the reasons why Welsh Lamb has PGI status and why more chefs should be using it in their menus. Market-leading catering butchers, Walter Rose & Son supplied the lamb and can supply chefs with this and any other meat requirements they may have. The award-winning butchers have vans delivering to top chefs in South Wales daily.
“Its great to have the students working with us today, I am really impressed with their attitude. I am a massive supporter of the next generation and have worked with many young chefs who have now gone on to do great things in their careers in some of the leading kitchens in the country.
I’m really looking forward to going into Coleg Gwent to teach next week at part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy and have also pledged my support for the GCSE maths and English attendance rewards scheme in offering a lunch at Chapel 1877, currently running at the college.”
A wine tasting was then conducted by WSET level three qualified Restaurant Manager Karolina Malecka. Karolina expertly presented three Spanish Vina Pomal wines and talked the guests through the pairing notes.
“It’s great to see so many hospitality professionals here today and a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we do here at Chapel 1877. We look forward to welcoming students from Coleg Gwent back for work experience in the future.”
The day finished with an excellent grilling demonstration by Ben Forte on the Kamado Joe ceramic grill. Chefs gathered on the terrace during Storm Brendan to sample yet more delicious welsh lamb cuts from Walter Rose & Son.
Ben showed how a boned-out leg of lamb can be cooked low and slow for a couple of hours to achieve a competition-standard pink ‘fire ring’ once rested. Ben also cooked-up Walter Rose Award-winning Saxon sausages and lamb chops.
Together we are stronger in bridging the gap between education and industry and encouraging more young people enter into hospitality as a career choice. Together we will combat the shortage of chefs and do our utmost to promote our fantastic industry as the brilliant career choice it is. No other industry offers such brilliant mentorship and global employment opportunities and The Chefs’ Forum regularly stages inspirational events to communicate this to GCSE and college students in Wales and all over the UK.
Photography by www.jcampbellphotography.co.uk