Kent Chefs Chill Alfresco at Crown Lodge!

Top chefs from across Kent came together to enjoy an afternoon of cookery demonstrations, networking and Clayzer at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum on Monday (May 22).  The event was blessed with glorious sunshine against a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop, overlooking the Wye Downs.

Held at Crown Lodge, near  Ashford, the event gave the county’s culinary talent the chance to network in a peaceful rural location and meet leading suppliers whilst giving learners from East Kent College the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen with renowned Aussie chef Graham Green.

The visiting chefs were treated to a delicious canapé and beer reception where Graham showcased produce from Chefs’ Forum Sponsors Walter Rose & Sons, Wellocks and Brindisa in mouth-watering canapés, savoury and sweet:

Graham DemoNo stranger to the demo circuit back in Australia, Graham came into his own as he introduced the Kentish chefs to kangaroo meat which was extremely well-received.  Comments received from the expert palates were that its flavour is a cross between venison, beef and buffalo meat.  It was said to have a wonderful gamey taste that adds a lot of flavour without being overpowering.

The kangaroo industry is tightly regulated by the Australian Government’s Primary Industries and the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS).  Kangaroo is one of the most sustainable, lean and delicious meats that Australia produces. Kangaroo is a 100% natural lean meat that is sustainably and ethically sourced from the open ranges of Australia.

Graham celebrated this fantastic free range meat in performing kangaroo wrapped in parma ham, eggplaKangaroo Cookinnt puree, choi sum and kangaroo jus.

Well-known Kentish caterer Graham Green came to Kent to retire in 2008. His plan to do a ‘bit of relief cheffing’ didn’t really work out and he ended up joining forces with the team from Chives Catering.

Chives catering is long-term family business cares about what it does, commercial events, family occasions, weddings, themed events and bespoke catering solutions.

Graham said: “It was a pleasure to have these young people working in my kitchen, all of whom showed great potential. The food that they produced was excellent and I am proud to say that it came from my kitchen.”

Rafael Rios Perez and Katy Kiteley from Brindisa fine Spanish Foods conducted a tasting of some wonderful Spanish delicacies including paprika and smoked Catalan almonds, young and aged  manchego cheeses, cow’s milk Mahon cheese from Mallorca and iberico ballota cured morcilla and rather delicious sparkling wine crisps.

This was followed by a presentatioBBQn on beef butchery by Jack Cook of Walter Rose & Sons showing how to cut different steaks from the rib to the rump of the cow.

Two huge freshly-butchered beef rib steaks, complete with bone then made their way onto the shiny new Rexmartins alfresco modular kitchen where they joined beautiful boned-out quail, lamb and duck.  The chefs then enjoyed a well-deserved beer and meat BBQ on their day off!

Clay shootingThe event ended by giving guests the chance to show off their shooting skills by taking part in a game of Clazer shooting with a prize awarded to the chef with highest number of points. The winning chef was Patrick Simon from Rocksalt Restaurant (Folkstone), who won a day of butchery with Walter Rose & Sons at their cutting plant in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Catherine Farinha said: “It is great to hear such a great deal of positive feedback on the work of the East Kent College students here at Crown Lodge today. The Chefs’ Forum is all about giving opportunities to the next generation of chefs and I think everyone would agree that today was a great opportunity for them. Highlights of today were the comedy beef butchery from Walter Rose and the fabulous BBQ on the Rexmartins outdoor kitchen – It’s great to introduce professional chefs to top suppliers and showcase advanced culinary and butchery skills from the very best in the business. I would like to thank everyone for coming today, and especially our sponsors without whom these events would not be possible.”