Kentish Chefs Enjoyed Butchery and Braai with Petrus Madutlela at The Poet

Monday (8) April saw a fantastic Butchery and Braai (South African Style BBQ) event take place at The Poet at Matfield in Tonbridge.  Chef-Patron, Petrus Madutlela and his business partners Chris and Andy proved the perfect hosts as they welcomed chefs from across Kent into their stylish beer garden for a celebration of South Africa. The purpose-built Braai was fired-up with wooden logs and Berkmann Wines prepared an alfresco South African wine tasting to accompany!

Students from North Kent College and West Kent College joined Petrus and his team in the kitchen to create delicious canapés showcasing his menu, including Winterdale Cheddar croquettes with a marmite mayo, marinated duck hearts, spicy chicken wings and an artichoke tart fine.  It was the first time West Kent College had worked with The Chefs’ Forum and they very much enjoyed the opportunity to meet employers and their peers from North Kent College.

The guests arrived at midday and were treated to a delicious welcome drink of Bolney Estate English Sparkling Wine and the canapés prepared by Petrus and the students.  Networking and introductions to the finest suppliers is an integral function of Chefs’ Forum events. Event sponsors at The Poet Students preparing canapesincluded Hilliard Bros showcasing finest fresh produce and Koppert Cress, Foie Royale with an ethical alternative to Foie Gras, Santa Maria with the Spice Truck, Falcon Foodservice showcasing Lainox Naboo combi ovens, Prowrap, Walter Rose & Sons and Bright Hygiene.

There was a great vibe about the day and an overwhelming sense of friendship and camaraderie amongst the chefs who attended.  Petrus iFront of house studentnvited chefs to ask questions on his journey as a chef and were so impressed with his humble and gentile manner. Petrus explained as he started as a KP in South Africa, coming from very humble beginnings in Pritoria.  His sheer hard work and determination since then has seen him work his way up including a stint at The Savoy and a turn on Masterchef: The Professionals. At home he was judge of South African TV show Ultimate Braai Master, all of which are very impressive credentials indeed!

Petrus holds respect for everybody and excellence in customer experience in high regard in his kitchen, he said

“We don’t swear in our kitchen. We don’t do big egos. Our focus is on the customer and preparing delicious food to the very best of our ability. Respect is of paramount importance and we make sure we treat each other with respect and humility, regardless of position.  I am truly blessed to have such a talented hard-working team.”Braai

When asked about the students’ performance, again Petrus was highly complementary, he continued

“The students have been excellent today – their professional attitude and willingness to learn was a joy to see.  I really liked welcoming students from both North Kent and West Kent College to The Poet and seeing how well they worked together as a team, despite never meeting before The Chefs’ Forum event. “

A wonderful South African wine pairing session with Berkmann Wine Cellars kicked-off festivities in the garden as the students served more canapés to bring out the zingy flavour notes in three wines showcased – Lievlander – Old Vine Chenin Blanc with smoked macDemo stagekerel tacos, Babylon’s Peak,

Viognier/Roussanne with chicken oyster ravioli jus gras and Buitenverwachting, 1769 Muscat with hazelnut deluxe. Rob Gordon of Berkmann talked guests through his rationale for the tastings and the upsurge in the popularity of South African wine in general.

The guests were then treated to a fantastic Creedy Carver chicken cookery demonstration by Petrus showcasing Walter Rose & Son chicken.  Petrus jointed the chicken and talked chefs through his brining and aging process using Santa Maria herbs anJack butchery demod spices.

Chefs then enjoyed an authentic boerewors haute dog made to Petrus’ recipe by Walter Rose & Son washed down with perfectly-chilled cava courtesy of Williams Refrigeration who showcased its space-saving HJC2 undercounter refrigeration unit at the event.

A lamb butchery masterclass with Walter Rose & Son then followed and chefs looked-on, fascinated and engaged by the master butchery skills of boning, rolling and tying being showcased to them by Director Jack Cook and New Business Manager Alex Byrne.

The Chefs’ Forum events bring chefs together, inspire student chefs and offer a chance for chefs to share knowledge and best practice.  Any chefs, college or suppliers wishing to get involved should contact

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