Kent Chefs do Butchery, Spice and Grills at Westenhanger Castle!
Top chefs from across Kent came together to enjoy an afternoon of cookery demonstrations, butchery, networking and Clayzer at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum on Monday (May 14). The event was blessed with glorious sunshine in the grounds of the beautiful Westenhanger Castle.
Held in the marquee in the impressive and versatile events venue near Ashford, The Chefs’ Forum’s spring 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 Santa Maria Spice Truck and ‘Spice Aficionado’ Sam Guarino soon breached the peace and turned-up the tunes as the chefs arrived to a soundtrack the best beats available, giving the event a real party atmosphere on the chefs’ day off!
The visiting chefs were treated to a delicious canapé and beer reception where Graham showcased produce from Chefs’ Forum Sponsors Walter Rose & Sons and Santa Maria in mouth-watering canapés.
Graham plumped for a traditional canapé and demo theme, the impressive canapé list comprised:
Noodle-wrapped prawns, mushroom arancini, pork chipotle croquettes, skate tartlet with lemon butter and snail vol-au-vents with garlic butter and toasted hazelnuts.
Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha and East Kent College Lecturer Rob Allsworth welcomed the chefs to the event as they took their seats in anticipation for the cookery and butchery showcase awaiting them on The Chefs’ Forum demo stage. Rob explained that Chefs’ Forum events are a great opportunity for students to enrich their learning and catch up with local employers, many of whom already work with the college.
Graham took to The Chefs’ Forum demo stage to showcase beautiful Creedy Carver duck leg supplied by leading catering butcher, Walter Rose & Son. Graham then stuffed the boned-out duck leg with red wine poached pear. The Convotherm mini cooked the duck to perfection, then it was time for Graham to plat- up: A smear of celeriac and cauliflower puree, duck liver pâté, red wine sauce and a duck skin shard were then added to the plate to create a mouth-wateringly delicious dish.
Graham’s deliciously unctuous demo was followed by a presentation on Wiltshire beef butchery by Jack Cook of Walter Rose & Sons showing how to cut different steaks from the rib to the rump of the Stokes Marsh Farm Hereford/Angus cross heifer – Probably the best-tasting beef available in the UK and the product of a forty-year relationship between butcher and chef.
Two huge, freshly-butchered cote de boeuf steaks, complete with rib bone then made their way onto the Synergy Grill where Claire Mansfield showcased the versatility of the award-winning British Grill. The chefs then enjoyed a well-deserved beer and meat and grilled veg (in honour of National Vegetarian Week) BBQ on their day off!
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, high-end car launches, family occasions, weddings, themed events and bespoke catering solutions.
Graham said: “It was a pleasure to have these young people from East Kent College’s Yarrow Hotel working in my kitchen, all of whom showed great potential. The food that they produced was excellent and I am proud to say that they made it with me in my kitchen.”
The 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.
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 Westenhanger Castle. The Chefs’ Forum is all about giving opportunities to the next generation of chefs and front of house professionals; I think everyone would agree that today was a great opportunity for them. Highlights of today were the comedy beef butchery from Walter Rose, an extremely interesting presentation on Santa Maria herbs and spices by Sam and the fabulous BBQ on the Synergy Grill by expert demo chef Claire Mansfield – 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.”
Photography by: www.kentfoodphotographer.com