Cancer Pagurus and Columba Palumbus, Food fit for… Devon chefs!

They might be more used to spending time in the kitchen, but at the most recent meeting of The Chefs’ Forum, the assembled chefs had the chance to sit back and relax for a change as they tucked into a delicious lunch.

The event was held on Monday, February 8, at South Devon College in Paignton, and it gave hospitality students at the college the opportunity to work with some of the region’s top chefs.

Tim and StudentsGuests were able to meet some top suppliers as they enjoyed a Bradley’s Juice reception before sitting down to a meal prepared by Stuart Downie of The Cricket Inn, and Tim Maddams, former River Cottage chef and owner of Green Sauce creative food company with the help of the students.

Stuart Downie with Student

The meal began with Stuart’s dish of Baked Favis of Salcombe Brown Crab (or Cancer Pagurus) with Tomatoes, Basil, Parmesan and a Herb Crust, which was followed by Tim’s Wild Garlic, Pearled Spelt, Walter Rose Pigeon and Jerusalem Artichokes. The feast finished with Coffee by Voyager Coffee and Petit Fours prepared by the students.

Students with Petit Fours

David Galpin, Section Head at South Devon College said: “Having the “Chefs’ Forum” here is a massive privilege; we have supported the forum at several events already, having so many industry professional professionals here at college gives us the opportunity to showcase the talent and professionalism of our teaching team, our students and our outstanding facility.

As a college we continue to work closely with industry bodies and employers to develop our curriculum offer, and be proactive with industry needs working to keep South Devon College a principal training provider. Our students’ professional development is enhanced by working in Horizon’s restaurant, through partnering activities, local industry events and culinary competitions, achieving exceptional results and outstanding customer feedback.

ChefsOur interesting and varied menus are prepared and served by tomorrow’s chefs, waiters and waitresses under the expert guidance of a first class teaching team. This is a chance to spot the up and coming stars of the future!”

Stuart added: “I very much enjoyed working with the students today. They were a credit to the college and showed a great deal of promise. I am confident that they will all have a bright future in the industry.”

Tim concluded: “It was a pleasure to be able to share some of my skills and knowledge with these young people.  Having published a River Cottage handbook on Game last July, it was great to teach them all about the versatility of the common wood pigeon or ‘Columba palambus’ – A tasty pest! The future of the industry depends on these students and based on the talent I saw today, I think it is in very safe hands.”

Students with CrabFounder of The Chefs’ Forum Catherine Farinha said: “The Chefs’ Forum was created with the aim of making a positive change in the hospitality industry. It aims to connect chefs with education, suppliers with chefs and education with suppliers to help the industry unite and work towards the shared goal of showcasing the incredible talent we have here in industry.

“Today’s event has proved just how much can be achieved when chefs, suppliers and students all work together, and I hope that everyone who attended would agree that it is inspiring to see.

“I would particularly like to thank all the sponsors who supported the event, especially Favis Ltd, Walter Rose & Son and Total Produce PLC who provided the ingredients for the fabulous dishes.

“Without our sponsors none of this would be possible.”

Photography by Richard Austin: