Guest Blog by Student Stevie Janisch of East Kent College – The Chefs’ Forum Autumn Lunch

The Chefs’ Forum Autumn Lunch 2013 at The Bath Priory.

On the 16th of September, myself, Ryan Stanley and Michael Coombs had the opportunity to help out in Dover for The Chefs’ Forum Kent meeting, we’d been invited by Catherine Farinha, Alex Duncan and sponsor Taittinger champagne to help out at the Marquis at Alkham. We were treated to a lovely lunch cooked by Charlie Lakin and three past East Kent College students Liam Ryan, Daniel Ottaway and Scott Pendry. It really was a great day, meeting great chefs and learning lots of new things.

As a reward for giving up our time to help and working hard on the day, we were then invited to The Bath Priory for an Autumn Lunch on the 21st of October for an amazing 6 course meal, including “Little Autumn Sweeties”.

We arrived at the beautiful country hotel and were greeted with Reception drinks and “little tastes of Autumn” created by Chef Sam Moody, on offer was, Beef on the bone & Fish and Chips, it was simple but so tasty, it was also a delicious start to the courses we had to come.

All courses where cooked and prepared by Michelin starred chefs. First course was “Cèpe custard, onion and bacon” this was cooked and prepared by Richard Davies, Head Chef at the Manor House Hotel at Castle Combe, the dish was different and though I didn’t really know what to expect, it was safe to say no one was disappointed, the texture was smooth and creamy, the combination of the bacon and onion is simple but it all worked perfectly together.

The next course was a fish dish, and this was my personal favourite, the dish was “Salted pollock with English Condiments” for this dish we were given chopsticks which added to the ambience, they’re something I had never used before, so it was nice little touch to the course. The contrast of the fresh fish and the hot English mustard gave a strong, rich taste that really went well together, the dish was created by Chef Josh Eggleton, the Head Chef at the Pony and Trap an award winning country pub.

The third course we also very much enjoyed, it was created by Russell Brown, Head chef at Sienna, he cooked and prepared “Roasted butternut squash and Old Winchester agnolotti with sage butter” an amazing pasta dish that held fabulous flavours which all complimented each other superbly.

Fourth course was “Warm escabeche of local partridge, smoked bacon, apple, game jus” this was cooked and prepared by Chef Sam Moody, Head Chef at The Bath Priory. There was good old English additions to the dish, again, everything worked beautifully giving loads of different tastes and textures to the course.

The course we had next was so different in many ways, it was “Cup Cakes” created by Chef Martin Blunos, Chef at Seaham Hall. The cup cake confused everybody, expecting it to be sweet, it was the complete opposite! It was goats cheese with sweet chilli chive, really different really amazing!

Last but not least was the dessert course “Literally my Bread and Butter” cooked and prepared by Chef Paul Ainsworth who is the Chef Patron of Number 6 in Padstow, with this course Paul gave everyone a letter that was personal to him, explaining how Gary Rhodes, past East Kent College student had played a big part in his early career, he explains how the dish “knocked off his socks” when he first tasted it and how he has taken this dessert and made it his own by adding beer to highlight the vanilla & yeast and vanilla ice cream to the plate for temperature contrast.

The overall experience was flawless and I will remember it forever, the people and the chefs were all very nice and it was a pleasure to meet everyone. East Kent College is a member of The Chefs’ Forum, and it was a brilliant opportunity for students to get involved.

This is a blog by Stevie Janisch a Level 3 Hospitality student at East Kent College. Well done to the three of you for getting an opportunity and making the most of it.

Photography by Tim Martin.