A Sustainably Fishy Canterbury Tale!

Canterbury seafood restaurant, Chapman’s played host to The Chefs’ Forum yesterday which majored on Sustainable Fish.  The Chefs’ Forum launched in Kent last June and this was the third successful convention in the area.

The exciting event saw top chefs and local producers gather together to showcase new techniques and share knowledge and experience within the catering industry.   The use of sustainable fish in cooking is vital if there are to remain ample resources for future generations.

During the event, Barney Smith from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Bob Hopegood of Chapman’s of Sevenoaks talked about sustainable fishing and responsible sourcing and its importance in today’s industry.  The chefs were told about the criteria on which the SRA assess restaurants’ sustainability status.

Barney said of the event:
“The Chefs’ Forum is a fantastic opportunity to meet chefs and catering students in the South East region and tell them about our work”.

A fish cookery demonstration was performed for the guests by Michelin-starred Graham Garrett of The West House. The chefs were truly captivated by Graham’s skill and the beautiful composition and presentation of his ‘Rockpool’ dish, using scallop, squid, mackerel and John Dory.

Guests then enjoyed an exciting ‘Fastest Forum Filleter’ competition which saw Chef Lecturer Rob Allsworth and student Elliot Louch both win their heats and scoop prizes for the best cut plaice!

College students from East Kent College worked under Graham Garrett to help create and serve canapés.   Their peers from Mid Kent College worked with Andrew Mcleish.  They all benefited greatly from meeting some of the top connoisseurs in the restaurant industry and can’t wait to help out at the next Chefs’ Forum event which will take place in the summer.

Andrew Mcleish commented:
“These events enable us to involve College students and work towards creating great chefs for the future. It is our collective responsibility to identify and encourage tomorrow’s great chefs to ensure that creativity, talent and passion continue to flow through the catering industry.”

Other top chefs involved in the Kent chapter of The Chefs’ Forum include Charlie Lakin (The Marquis at Alkham, Dan Hatton (Thackerays), Michael Fowler (Brasserie on the Bay) and Craig Edgell of Deesons, Canterbury.

Rob Allsworth, Chef Lecturer at East Kent College, concluded:
“This event was an excellent opportunity for our students to meet and learn from industry experts who excel in the catering field as well as allowing us to showcase our students’ talent and skill.  I was delighted to hear employers’ positive feedback about our students and as a result, received several pledges of employment opportunities”.

An interesting and inspirational day was had by all who attended and it was great to see so many top chefs supporting the next generation of hospitality professionals.