A Chef Jolly at Crocker’s Folly

There was plenty of food for thought at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum, with an afternoon filled with demonstrations and master classes (Monday 26 Oct).

Top chefs, along with suppliers and students all came together at the beautifully restored gin palace that is Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood, London, for a packed afternoon of culinary activities.

The event began with a canapé and cocktail reception where guests enjoyed delicious morsels prepared by Chef Consultant Damian Wawrzyniak and Pierre Simonin from Crocker’s Folly with the help of students from Westminster Kingsway College and Hit Training.

The canapés showcased ingredients from Chefs’ Forum approved suppliers including Brindisa’s delicious Iberico ham, Favis of Salcombe crab, Olive Oil from Olivence and Flying Fish Seafood supplying sublime oysters.

These were accompanied by fabulous Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine and ‘Tangelo’ gin twists introducing the new hybrid grapefruit crossed with a tangerine fruit to culinary experts, courtesy of First Choice Produce.

Damian DemoThe Crocker’s Folly chefs were full of praise for the students. Damian said: “It was a real pleasure to work with the students today. They showed great dedication and creativity and it is a privilege to see the up and coming stars of the profession.”

Damian then gave the first demonstration on Cooktek Induction, creating his cannon of lamb dish showcasing Walter Rose lamb and First Choice Produce berries.

Jack Cook From Walter Rose Butchers DemoThis was then followed by a butchery masterclass from Walter Rose, showing how to clean a cannon of lamb from the saddle and prepare the saddle for rendering.

The students then had the chance to show off their skills with a butchery competition using Global Knives which was won by Level 2 student, Candy Florian-Sharpe (17) who was awarded a day in the cutting plant with the Walter Rose Butchers and a day in the kitchen with Damian Wawrzyniak for her impressive efforts.

It was then Pierre’s turn to give a demonstration, this time with fish as the key ingredient and he showed how to prepare a delicious skate wing which had been provided by Flying Fish.Graham Garrett

Former rock star turned Michelin-starred chef Graham Garrett then took centre stage talking about his new book Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls and why every chef should write a book.

“It’s really important to be involved with the publisher every step of the way so when you have that proud moment and receive the first copy of your finished book, it genuinely represents you and your journey as a chef.  You really must own the editing process.”

Graham then sold signed copies of his book to the chefs who attended and spent a great deal of time talking to the Westminster Kingsway students who seemed honoured to meet him.

The event then culminated with the final demo of the day, a Sosa demonstration with Turners Fine Foods incorporating Desserts by Ahmad Atie, also from Crocker’s Folly.

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum Catherine Farinha said:
“Today has been one of our busiest London events, The Chefs’ Forum is going from strength to strength and we have some great London venues planned for 2016.  The Westminster Kingsway and Hit Training students were fantastic today and produced some great food.  It was lovely to see them talking to the chefs and voluntarily putting themselves forward to help out at this event in their half term holiday.”

Photography by Pavolva and Cream