Cornish Chefs Bolster Support for Young Chefs and Hospitality Professionals at St Michaels Resort
Top Cornish chefs, Cornish suppliers and Hospitality students from both Cornwall College and Truro & Penwith College, gathered for a celebration of Cornish food, hosted by St Michaels Head Chef, Darren Millgate.
The resort has been recently revamped to the highest standard with stunning views across sub-tropical gardens to Gyllyngvase Beach.
The interior of the hotel is themed on its coastal and nautical surrounds and offers a fantastic beach getaway with an excellent local food offering.
After a Codorniu Anna Cava and canapè reception, Cornwall College hospitality lecturer Tracy Page gave a welcome speech with Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha.
“I taught Darren Millgate whilst he was at college as I have worked there for the last twenty years. I am absolutely delighted to be returning with a brigade full of young chefs and front of house professionals for Darren and the team to lead and mentor at this event.
It is crucial that employers support our colleges and it is truly fantastic to see so many industry professionals here today.
I am very grateful to both Darren and Head of Food & Beverage and my great friend Polly Dent for giving our students such a fantastic experience here today”.
The aim of the day at St Michaels was to enable Darren to showcase locally-sourced produce in their menus with Darren and his ‘Star of the Day’ Steven Benney from Cornwall College showcasing seasonal dishes from St Michaels menu on The Chefs’ Forum demo stage.
Darren was also joined by Gavin Roberts of Two Brothers Food as he butchered a deer that he had shot himself as a licenced marksman.
Darren created a stunning venison carpaccio with beetroot crème fraiche, sprouts and hazelnuts.
Gavin’s expertly cut venison steaks were then cooked to perfection on the Kamado Joe grills by BBQ chef Sue Stoneman who made a delicious focaccia on which it was served.
After producing the canape menu to the highest standard with his peers, then acting as Commis Chef on the demo stage with Darren, Steven was offered a trial shift at St Michaels fantastic recognition of his excellent performance on the day.
Two more students were also rewarded for excellent performance: Meg Diamond from Truro and Penwith College and Malakai Sciasco – All received a complimentary pass to the health club at the resort.
Darren and the students laid-on a fantastic canapè menu of
- Seared pheasant breast, Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut and cherry
- Gin cured sea bass with cucumber, strawberry and mint
- Plum membrillo, vegan blue cheese and watercress on toasted sourdough
- Ham hock terrine with spiced pear chutney
- Crab arancini with watercress and cobnut pesto
- Root vegetable Dauphinoise with sautéed Cornish mushrooms and truffle
- Blackberry eclairs
In participation in the event, students from both Cornwall College and Truro & Penwith College got the opportunity to show off their culinary skills, working alongside Darren and his talented brigade to create and serve beautiful canapés incorporating top-drawer Cornish produce for the culinary experts who attended.
The Cornwall Good Seafood Guide then took to the floor to showcase their fantastic website that allows chefs to make well-informed decisions when choosing seafood for their menus.
Marine Awareness Officer Matt Slater said:
“We pride ourselves on encouraging chefs to only use sustainable species in their menus. We educate chefs to buy sustainable fish with no plastic or polystyrene packaging. If we all do our bit to reduce plastics and conserve fish stocks in our oceans, then together we can make a change.”
Sam Guarino, ‘F.O.O.D.I.E & Spice Nerd’ at Santa Maria maintained the sustainability theme, explaining that Santa Maria now use recyclable packaging for all their products, minimising plastics, whilst maintaining optimum flavour. Sam offered to visit the chefs in their own restaurants to showcase the full range of market-leading herbs and spices. He also invited them to board the legendary spice truck, a regular and popular feature at Chefs’ Forum events.
Catherine Farinha, concluded:
“The Chefs’ Forum aims to enhance the skill sets of top chefs in industry and students through showcasing the latest techniques being used in industry – This time it was ‘Perfect Pairing in the Dutchy’ with expert Ritter Courivaud food and Codorniu wine pairings from St Michaels F&B Manager James Catherall – We love doing events here in Cornwall, it was great to see Gavin’s Cornish venison demo, Darren’s brilliant dishes and excellent professionalism and enthusiasm from the students who took part. We look forward to four more events in the county in 2020.”
Photography by www.jamesaphotography.co.uk