Cocktails & Canapes at Harvey Nichols Birmingham

A very stylish Chefs’ Forum event took place on Monday (July 17).

Top chefs, hospitality students and suppliers gathered at Harvey Nichols in Birmingham for an elegant day of cocktails and canapés.

Mark with HIT Training learnersHaving staged a similar event in at the Harvey Nichols 2nd Floor Restaurant in Bristol last year, it only seemed fair that The Chefs’ Forum should again join forces with the luxury brand to wow the chefs of Birmingham with a day of fabulous live cookery demos, culinary flair and mixology!

Assisted by learners from HIT Training and recent graduates of University College Birmingham, Harvey Nichols’ Head Chef Mark Walsh prepared some delicious canapes for guests to enjoy.

Mark Demo DishAfter everyone had enjoyed the drinks and canapes, and had had a chance to network Mark demonstrated a delicious dish of confit chicken breast, dehydrated chicken skin crumb with sugar beet grown by Frederick Hiam and black garlic puree.

Mark said:
“This was the first time I have worked with The Chefs’ Forum and it was a real pleasure to have these young people in the kitchen – The team and I loved working with them.

My first ever live cookery demo too, in front of an audience of top chefs was a learning curve indeed, but I really enjoyed it.Max Cocktail masterclass

“It is so lovely to see so many people here and to have this room full of people from the industry – It was great to catch up with friends old and new.”

Harvey Nichols Bar manager Max Williams then gave a fantastic cocktail masterclass, matching three cocktails with more sumptuous canapes by Mark.

Max demonstrated how to make three Harvey Nichols signature cocktails, paired to anise cracker with prawns and lemon gel, braised beef with sugar beat on rye and octopus, kiwi, dulce, lime and shallot.

Jack Cook Butchery demoJack Cook, Director of award-winning Walter Rose & Sons butchers (Devizes) gave a brilliant steak-cutting demo, showcasing delicious fillet, picanha, rump, spider and sirloin which were then cooked-up on the Convotherm induction plancha for the chefs to try.

Walter Rose & Son supplies Simpsons Restaurant, Michelin-starred Glyn Purnell and TV chef Aktar Islam to name a few and was delighted to further-raise its profile to top Birmingham chefs.

Butchery CompStudents then went head to head in a butchery competition set by Jack to joint a chicken in the fastest time. The winner was Angelina Adamo, a recent graduate from University College Birmingham who bagged herself trip to the award-winning Walter Rose Butchers in Devizes.

Angelina, from the winning team of Nestle’s Toq D’or 2016 said:
“It was really nice to speak to suppliers and industry people.  I’m very much looking forward to my day of butchery at Walter Rose, it will be great to learn about meat from field to fork – I would also like to visit the abattoir as I am interested to see the whole story”.

Laura Perry, Sector Manager for Birmingham at HIT Training, commented:
“There is a major skills shortage in Birmingham for restaurant and kitchen work. We want to inspire and nurture our next generation of top chefs and these events offer an excellent opportunity to showcase our learners and allow them to work with top chefs, restaurateurs and potential employers.”

Andrej DemoAndrej Demo DishFounder of The Chefs’ Forum, Catherine Farinha, said:
“This has been a fantastic day and it is great to show young people, that although a luxury brand with an exclusive image, Harvey Nichols is a great company to work for, employing great people from all backgrounds and a fantastic prospect for young people wanting to make it in the industry.  Thank you to all the sponsors who supported the event, especially acclaimed chef Andrej Prokes (ex Fat Duck, Ritz & Gordon Ramsay) for an inspiring demo of confit duck with seared breast, beetroot two ways and garlic puree Chef from Nestle Professional ‘All Natural’ stocks in the duck sauce”.

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