Devon Chefs Enjoyed Culinary Excellence on the Estuary!
The beautiful Dart Marina Hotel & Spa was the venue for the latest Devon meet for The Chefs’ Forum on Monday (2) March. Quite the foodie stronghold, Dartmouth has become a serious destination for those looking to eat at some of the best restaurants in Devon, whilst taking full advantage of beautiful views of the River Dart estuary.
The Chefs’ Forum launched in Devon in 2013 and ever since, its following has increased year on year, making it one of the strongest chapters within the organisation on a national level.
A multi-million pound refurbishment has made the Dart Marina Hotel & Spa one of the most desirable hotels in Devon and a landmark in the beautiful South Hams sailing town, overlooking busy pontoons adorned with brilliant white yachts and boats against a backdrop of rolling coloured houses on the opposite side of the estuary.
Spring was just starting to break through with brilliant sunshine glistening on the water. It was the perfect day to set-up the Cloud Nine beer bus serving ice cold Peroni on draught and fire-up the Kamado Joe BBQ to give the Devon chefs a fantastic day out on their day off.
Top chefs and industry professionals attending the event were Masterchef: The Professionals finalist, Elly Wentworth and her team from The Angel (Dartmouth), Dan Foster (Rockfish), Johnathon Mather (The Cove), Nicholas Legendre (Group Exec Chef, Richardson Hotels) and Mary Grose (Thurlestone Hotel).
The day started with a networking session where the chefs got to meet each other in an informal setting and catch-up with suppliers old and new. It was also a fantastic opportunity for the chefs to forge links with the lecturers and students from South Devon College.
A fantastic canapé menu flowed from the kitchen as students from South Devon College worked with Head Chef Peter Alcroft and his team to produce a fantastic spread of delicious morsels, showcasing produce from Chefs’ Forum Sponsors Tim Potter Butchers, Foie Royale and Nutcellars macadamia nuts.
The chefs worked hard to produce a butternut, sage and mozzarella arancini, as well as pressed ham hock, parsley jelly, Dijon mustard. Beef & lamb kofta was also on the menu and Tahina sauce and cured salmon, nori sushi, wasabi mayonnaise and pickled ginger.
Franco Macellaio of Tim Potter Butchers and popular YouTube Channel The Urban Butchery Channel then took to the butcher’s block to break down a ‘top of beef’. Franco expertly broke down the top into topside, silverside, thick flank, shin, spider muscle and heel muscle. The bullet muscle was then turned into quarter inch steaks which were hand-tenderised by the showman butcher, which the chefs very much enjoyed watching. Steaks were then cooked to perfection by BBQ Maestra, Sue Stoneman on the Kamado Joe.
Chris Dyke, Sous Chef at Dart Marina gave a brilliant cookery demonstration on the stage of lamb loin with wild garlic cooked in Nutcellars Macadamia nut butter, crispy capers, aubergine, maple and sherry vinegar with fondant potato, pan juices, broccoli and rapeseed oil. Peter and the students assisted, making for an excellent, culinary skills showcase and six delicious plates of food for all to try at the end of the demo.
A student competition of éclair filling and decorating then followed with the stars of the day from both front and back of house being awarded an afternoon tea at Dart Marina Hotel.
The chefs and hospitality professionals then made their way onto the terrace to enjoy a pint of ice cold Peroni from the Cloud Nine Citroen beer bus.
Afternoon tea was then served on the terrace and the sweet canapés of mini scones with clotted cream and jam, chocolate brownie cremeux gateau and macarons. All disappeared at a rate of knots overlooking the beautiful yachts and boats, moored on the estuary.
The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in Devon and any chefs or suppliers wishing to attend the next event should contact firstname.lastname@example.org