Bristol Old Vic and Tom Green Hosted The Chefs’ Forum Bristol Summer Meet!

Originally opened in 1766, Bristol Old Vic is the country’s oldest continuously working theatre and a fantastic venue to host Bristol’s Chefs’ Forum’s summer meet. Top Bristol chefs, City of Bristol College students and quality suppliers gathered at the theatre for a day of culinary flare, knowledge-sharing and networking.

StudentsStudents from City of Bristol College benefitted from some fantastic work experience, comprising of a ‘prep day’ the week before yesterday’s main event at the Fosters production unit, where they worked with Executive Chef Tom Green and his team to prepare elements of the canapés they would make and serve on the day.  This is how the prestigious Fosters Catering team work in their large-scale high-end outside catering business.

The students learnt how Team Fosters plan, cater-for and execute their corporate events, seeing first-hand how accessibility and logistics form a large element in delivering customer requirements for some very impressive clients.

Alistair and CatherineFosters Chairman Alastair Curie joined Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha to welcome the guests to the The Chefs’ Forum event at Bristol Old Vic, introducing the stunning Coopers Hall where the event took place.  He gave the chefs an insight into the kind of events catered for by Fosters including Bristol Old Vic, SS Great Britain, Merchant Venturers, The Orangery, Goldney Hall and talked about the importance of supporting the next generation of hospitality professionals.

A ‘Saturday Kitchen-style demo’ then took place on The Chefs’ Forum Demo Stage which saw Tom Green work with Head Chef Coco Barone to create a stunning pasta Coco pasta makingdish with garganelli pasta shapes.  Coco hand-rolled the garganelli and orecchiette pasta (specific to her home region in southern Italy) as well as beetroot gnocchetti, all hand-rolled on a slanted wooden ridge board – a traditional technique seldom witnessed in the age of machinery. Tom compliment the dish Tom made a sauce with an anchovy, caper, chilli, garlic and tender stem broccoli, topped with pangritata: a bread crumb made with sour dough and lemon zest.

Tom demoTom stated

“It was great working with the students, we have offered work to two students for future events as a result. It was also fantastic to be able to demonstrate live event catering and the logistical trails that go with it to deliver a sleek, professional event.”

As Tom and Coco’s demo was in full-swing, Alex Byrne from Walter Rose & Son gave a brilliant pork butchery demonstration on the Rowe & Sons Chefs’ Forum branded butchers block.

Alex told the chefs about the provenance of Norton Farm Pork, by award-winning pig farmer Cameron Norton.

Alex said

“Walter Rose and Son sources pork from award-winning Cameron aAlex butcherynd Muriel Naughton based at Bishops Cannings near Devizes. Cameron grows his own wheat and barley to feed his 500-strong herd of sows.  He also grows oilseed rape which is sold to make oil and margarine.  The Naughtons then buy back the ‘rape meal’ as this is a great addition to pig food.  All straw from the crops is used for bedding the pigs and co-products such as yoghurt-washings and yeast from the dairy and brewery industries are used in the pigs’ nutrition.  Walter Rose pay a premium to the Naughtons to get the pick of the herd, ensuring quality and consistency for our customers.”

Alex also invited the chefs for some butchery tuition at the Devizes cutting plant, which was very wSanta Mariaell-received indeed!

Sam Guarino then added some Latin American Pork Carnitas seasoning and a Keralan Curry and Santa Maria Sea Salt and Telicherry pepper.

Spice Nerd and Epicurean Aficionado, Sam Guarino said

“Today’s event was in a fantastic setting, the venue lent itself perfectly to the demos with fantastic acoustics in Coopers Hall. It was great to see top chefs and students engaging and being enlightened in different culinary ways, learning new skills”

An Introduction to Foie Royale was then given by University of West London Chef Lecturer Jonathon Bowers as he demonstrated his pork bon bon dish with confit chicken, Foie Royale, capers and a Foie Royale jus gras. A hot mushroom mousse accompanied, served from an espuma gun. Jonathon showcased the product’s versatility, explained it’s ethical USP and silky-smooth flavouJonathon Bowers Foie Royaler profile – The chefs all participated in a tasting that followed and were very impressed.

Jonathon said

“Foie Royale is an evolution of a popular existing product, its clever modification in keeping with modern consumer demands of high animal welfare, eliminating force feeding. The product has now been adopted by Waitrose for this very reason and is currently on a roll-out programme in its luxury retail stores as featured in the Daily Mail last weekend – A great step in the right direction in an ethical alternative to foie gras.”

The day finished with a talk from Gemma Waters of Syft, presenting the brilliant app for temporary staffing described as the ‘Uber for Chefs’, where employers can hire rated staff, last minute to help them cover shifts in an emergency with great, rated hospitality professionals, safe in the knowledge that they’re hiring great people, recSyftommended and endorsed by fellow employers.

The Chefs’ Forum brings together hospitality professionals and chefs in stunning venues every quarter and chefs wishing to attend the next Bristol event on the 7th October at Bar 44 (Clifton) should contact