Devon Chefs Enjoyed a Spiffing Knowledge-sharing Session at The Deer Park Hotel

There was a real sense of Downton Abbey at the latest meeting of the Chefs’ Forum at Deer Park Country House Hotel near Honiton.  Classic cars lined the entrance to the beautiful country house hotel that has benefitted from a complete image overhaul under the expert lead of MD Mark Godfrey.

Andy Storey and HIT Training learners prepparing canapesThe event began, as usual with a Nyetimber and canapé reception, with the canapés prepared by Head Chef at Deer Park, Andy Storey, with the help of learners from HIT Training. The involvement of students and apprentices is a key element to the Chefs’ Forum events, and Andy was full of praise for the young people.

Canapes by Andy Storey and HIT Training learnersHe said:
“I was really impressed with the way the HIT Training learners got on with the task in hand and produced fantastic canapés for top local chefs who attended.  I really enjoyed sharing the fantastic facility we have here. It was great to work with the next generation of chefs who show great promise and are learning from the best at the Treby Arms.”

After the reception guests took part in a coffee “cupping” or tasting with the Devon-based award-winning coffee specialists Voyager Coffee with Paul Rigby and Andy Stuart explaining the journey from bean to cup and the processes involved in brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

Andy Storey demo dishDavid Jenkins of MCS with Andy StoreyThis was followed by Andy demonstrating how to make a fabulous pan-fried red mullet, crab stuffed courgette flower, heritage tomato and green olive dish.  All quality ingredients for this and the canapés showcasing the Deer Park menu were supplied by Chefs’ Forum Sponsors Total Produce, Flying Fish and Favis of Salcombe.  Colin Leonard of Charvet Premier Ranges and David Jenkins of MCS Technical Products talked chefs through the equipment that Andy was using and the benefits of updating kitchen equipment.

Ice cream made with Ponthier pureeHead Chef of The Millbrook Inn Jean Paul BidartThe foodie part of the event then concluded with a demonstration of ice cream making, showcasing Ponthier Purees, available through Harvey & Brockless and the versatility of the Adande. Jan Quilliam of Adande demonstrated how the market-leading refrigerated drawer units kept Andy’s Ponthier soft scoop ice cream at the perfect temperature.

Anton Buttery of Langmans Restaurant takes a shotGuests rounded off their day in the beautiful Devonshire countryside with a spot of pistol and clay pigeon shooting which proved a real hit with the chefs as the perfect end to the perfect day.

Catherine Farinha, founder of The Chefs’ Forum concluded:
“Whilst we try to keep chefs updated with the latest industry techniques, equipment and trends, it’s also good to allow chefs to relax and socialise with other chefs on their day off – Activities at The Deer Park really enabled them to do this and the feedback from attendees has been really positive – We are very much looking forward to our next Devon event at Favis of Salcombe’s picking factory in November.”