Dorset Chefs Enjoy a Pan-Asian Feast for the Senses at Drgnfly, Poole

On arriving at DRGNFLY, one can’t fail to be impressed by the beautiful avian taxidermy, full-size cherry blossom tree and glass-cased samurai warrior that adorn the walls.

The concept is fantastic and the chefs and hospitality students from across the county absolutely loved the snapshot view of Chef Andrew Avila’s sushi-rolling and vegetable carving skills.BP College Students

On Monday (18) February, students from both Bournemouth & Poole College and Basingstoke College of Technology joined Andrew and his kitchen team to produce mouth-watering pan-Asian canapés for over fifty hospitality professionals that attended the event.

The delicious canapé list comprised:

CanapesCrispy nori guacamole, beef tataki, salmon tartar, passion fruit cheesecake, chocolate mousse and matcha green tea crème brûlée.

Bragard UK supplied a grand chef jacket to chef Andrew and he was suitably impressed with the quality and comfort.

Chef Andrew really enjoyed the day, he said

Basingstoke College students“It was great to welcome the young chefs into my kitchen and showcase my knowledge acquired from working all over the world and at top restaurants in London including Noma and Sushi Samba.  Being Filipino myself, I am living proof that a career in hospitality can take you around the world.”

Jack and Alex ButcheryJack Cook and Alex Byrne from Walter Rose & Son gave a brilliant beef butchery masterclass on the Row & Sons butchers block and the chefs were then treated to the choice cuts of Aberdeen Angus x Hereford steaks produced.  Walter Rose beef is from Tim Johnson’s herd at Stokes Marsh Farm and the chefs were highly impressed by its award-winning quality and taste.

Paul from Koppert CressPaul Da Costa Greaves gave a presentation on the new species of micro herbs produced by World-leading Dutch micro green cultivators, Koppert Cress.  Chefs taste-tested ‘Sweet Lov’ and a new ‘Sweet Peeper’ which is said to ‘take dishes to the next level’ with its long-lasting, simple, dry and bittersweet taste.  The Shiso Purple leaves also looked fantastic with Andrew’s sushi!

Sam Guarino of Santa Maria edSam from Santa Mariaucated the chefs on his fantastic range of herbs and spices and chef Andrew finished the day with an expert sushi-rolling masterclass.

Other delicious treats served to guests on the day included Country Fare croissants cooked in the Falcon counter top oven and Foie Royale, the ethical alternative served on a brioche.

Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha and Christophe Baffos, Director of Learning at Bournemouth & Poole College went head-to-head in a sushi-rolling competition.  Both Catherine and Christophe produced some lovely-looking sushi and Chef Andrew couldn’t pick a winner!

Christophe has always been a great supporter of The Chefs’ Forum and sees it of paramount importance that the students liaise with local employers.

Christophe commented:Christophe sushi competition

“The students and I have had a great day here today.  The Chefs’ Forum is always a fantastic opportunity for our students and teaching staff to meet with local chefs.  It underpins the knowledge that we impart on our learners by inviting our students to work with talented local chefs as well as meeting and working with their peers from other colleges.”

SushiCatherine concluded:

“Today has been brilliant for the guests and students alike – it’s great to see so many friends old and new.  Andrew wowed guests today with his amazing knife sushi skills and has been the perfect host.  We wish Team DRGNFLY all the best with their expansion plans and are sure it will be a huge success!”

Photography by