Lobster and London Gin Tasting at Le Méridien Piccadilly

Culinary experts at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum in London had the chance to taste some of the finer things in life, from luscious lobster to perfect pastry. More than 70 top chefs from the London area gathered at Le Méridien Piccadilly to enjoy an afternoon of networking and demonstrations.

The event began with a Nyetimber reception, accompanied by canapés prepared by Michael Dutnall, Chef de Cuisine of the Terrace Grill & Bar at Le Méridien Piccadilly, assisted by student chefs from the HIT Training Academy.

HIT learner prep canapesHIT Training Learner Preparing CanapesMichael said: “The students were fantastic. They all worked incredibly hard and it was a pleasure to be able to share my expertise with the next generation of chefs.”

Favis of Salcombe Lobster DemoFollowing the reception, Favis of Salcombe gave a masterclass on how to pick and dress Devon lobster, before Michael demonstrated a fabulous dish of pan-roasted Favis lobster in the shell and pork belly from Walter Rose butchers.

Sipsmith TastingAll of this proved thirsty work, so fortunately Sipsmith were on hand to conduct a gin tasting session.

And those with a sweet tooth weren’t left out either as Paul Wayne Gregory showed how to create some delicious chocolates using products from Cacao Barry. Paul’s chocolates are available from Turners Fine Foods.

L-R Ririn, Will, Thomas and Sarah Judging Elair compStudents then had a second chance to shine with an éclair filling and decorating competition which was judged by Ririn Biggs, Head Pastry Chef at Le Méridien Piccadilly, Markus Boer, Executive Pastry Chef at Harrods, Thomas Leatherbarrow, Head Pastry Chef at Pastry Development Ltd, Sarah Hartnett, Head Pastry Chef at Sheraton Park Lane and Will Torrent, Pastry Development Chef for Waitrose.

HIT learners elair compThe competition was won by Karlis Pumpurins from Baxter Storey who received a designer Oliver Harvey chef jacket and outfit which was kindly donated by the market-leading chef attire brand. He said: “I am thrilled to have won. To have had my work praised by such talented pastry chefs is a real honour. It was great to take part in an event that celebrated pastry.”

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum, Catherine Farinha, said: “I am delighted that the event proved to be such a success. The purpose of The Chefs’ Forum is to create links between chefs at the top of their profession and young people who are just starting out and today has given the students the chance to not just learn from some fabulous chefs, but also work alongside them.

“Special thanks to Favis of Salcombe, Turners Fine Foods, First Choice Produce, Flying Fish, Walter Rose and Cacao Barry for supplying ingredients, and to all our sponsors for their on-going, much-valued support.”

Photography by Pavolva & Cream