Dorset & Hampshire Chefs do Trout on The Test!

Top chefs from Dorset and Hampshire gathered at Test Valley Trout Farm, the perfect venue to learn about the story behind Fjordling Smokehouse’s smoked delights whilst road-testing market-leading chef equipment and produce. Masterchef Professionals 2013 winner, Steven Edwards, showcased the trout to his peers in a celebration of its provenance through canapés and a cookery demo powered by Induced Energy induction hobs.

Trout Farm proprietor, Christopher Saunders-Davies welcomed the chefs to his breath-taking property, set on the bank of the river test.  His idyllic home and its beautifully manicured gardens framed by the River Test overlook the trout farm.

Prepping canapes for media Salting trout for media Steven showcased Fjordling smoked chicken and trout in stunning canapés. His third canapé, a vegetarian option was a beetroot tatare with horseradish cream. Steven led two trainee chefs in preparing and assembling the canapés, Daniel Smith (18) a HIT Training learner, currently working at The Winchester Hotel and Pengxiong Li (33), who has just finished his course at South Downs College.

Trout Canape for mediaSmoked Chicken Canape for mediaPengxiong won the Institute of Hospitality (Southern Branch) Young Chef of The Year Student Award which was sponsored by The Chefs’ Forum in the awards ceremony at Lainston House last May.   Steven Edwards hosted the awards, so it was great that Pengxiong had the opportunity to work with him at the trout farm, further adding to his work experience portfolio.

Steven's demo for mediaIn his cookery demo that followed, entitled ‘Trout and Lettuce’, Steven showed the chefs how he cured the trout himself by rubbing the fish in equal amounts of sugar and salt.

Steven said: “This is a unique twist on ‘Big Mac lettuce’.  Everyone knows what I mean by the shredded moist lettuce found in a popular fast food restaurant –   In my cooking, I like to make a feature out of the vegetable as well as the main ingredient, which on this occasion is fabulous Test Valley trout – The humble baby gem lettuce, cooked with white wine and shallots makes a great accompaniment to this fresh summer dish.  It’s a real treat to have fish caught just hours before cooking and a pleasure to cook with Induced Energy induction hobs and Contacto Induction pans!”


CCS installed its Alfresco Kitchen under the canopy of a huge cedar tree at the event.  The Alfa Pizza oven was used by BBQ expert Cornelius Veakins to produce fabulous pizzas showcasing Fjordling smoked duck and ‘dirty’ (cooked on the coals) onions, mushrooms and Walter Rose single muscle rump. A whole trout was also oven-baked by piling hot coals either side of the fish. A real crowd-pleaser was a baked camembert with garlic served on rocket salad.  One of the chef guests, Peter Fiori, Head Chef of Coutts Bank (London) then suggested that the dirty beef be paired with the baked camembert for an ideal flavour combination that went down a storm.Trout in the Alfa Oven for media

Cornelius then served a delicious dessert of flambéed Jamaican Spiced rum peaches and pears, served on brioche, toasted on the Kamado Joe ceramic BBQ.  It was then drizzles with salted caramel sauce (warmed in the Alfa Pizza oven) and finished with mascarpone cheese.

All produce for the canapés and demos was kindly provided by The Chefs’ Forum sponsors Fjordling Smokehouse, Walter Rose Butchers, Koppert Cress and Total Produce.  The Coffee Bean Company and local brewery, Southbourne Ales kept guests refreshed throughout the day with delicious coffee, hot chocolate and beer – Very necessary in the changeable British weather! Demo equipment showcased on the day included a Unox Oven, Induced Energy Induction Hobs, Contacto Induction Pans, Douwe Egberts CAF400 back of house, bulk brew coffee machine and Clifton Food Range Waterbath.

Trout being fed for mediaThe day culminated in a fascinating tour of the trout farm and Fjordling smoke house where the chefs got a unique insight into the world of top quality trout farming, harvesting and smoking.  The guests also got a chance to try their hand at fly fishing with James Mercer, experienced angler and assistant manager at The Winning Post landing a 2lb brown trout, straight out of the River Test!James Mercer catch

The Chefs’ Forum continues to hold 32 chef events per year across eight areas.  Any chefs, colleges or suppliers wishing to get involved should contact Catherine Farinha on 07585 700030.

Photography by Andrew Plant: