Mark Sargeant’s Rocksalt Plays Host to The Chefs’ Forum!

Monday (26) February saw top Kentish chefs and students from North Kent College gather in Folkstone for a day of hospitality industry networking, knowledge-sharing and CPD. Mark Sargeant, Gordon Ramsay’s former right-hand man and former Michelin-starred Head Chef of London’s Claridges and is now operating four restaurants in Kent.  It seemed only fitting that The Chefs’ Forum celebrated his success and showcased the culinary brilliance of his chefs from Rocksalt, The George, The Duke William and The Wife of Bath.

Adam and studentStudents from North Kent College joined Head Chefs Marcin Szelag (Rocksalt), George Marsh (The Duke William) and Adam Ashley (The Wife of Bath) to create and serve stunning canapés, showcasing the Rocksalt menu and watch fantastic cookery demonstrations by Sargeant’s talented brigades.

Marcin said

“I have been here at Rocksalt since day one and really enjoy working with such a beautiful view each day, looking out into the sea where we harvest beautiful fish used in our menus.  It is great to see so many chefs come to support us today form Kent and as far as London!  The students have been fantastic, extremely professional and aCanapes 3 credit to their college. It’s great to invite my peers from the other restaurants in the group to work with me on such an inspirational day.”

On the warmest February day on record, there couldn’t have been a nicer venue for the first Kent & Sussex Chefs’ Forum event of 2019.  Sargeant’s Rocksalt Restaurant in Folkstone boasts a chic modern interior with floor-to-ceiling glass and a harbourside terrace and lent itself perfectly to a day of culinary excellence, chef demonstrations by the group’s head chefs and a celebration of the finest produce from land to sea.

Duncan Wheetman, Chef Lecturer at North Kent College added

“The students had a great day.  It is really important that they take part in events like this to enhance their learning and offer optimum curriculum enrichment.  Working with Marcin and the team has been an excellent experience for the chefs in the kitchen and front of house as they created, served and explained the canapés to the chefs.  It was a great confidence-building exercise and an excellent opportunity to forge links with employers.”

Jack demoLand

First to take to the demo stage was Jack Cook from Walter Rose & Son with a fascinating lamb butchery demonstration in which he broke down a whole lamb and demonstrated choice cuts such as shank, rump, rack and loin chops as well as more old-fashioned cuts such as scrag end, gigot (leg of lamb sleeve) and neck.  Although based in Devizes, the award-winning butcher supplies many top restaurants in Kent and invited chefs to come for butchery training at his purpose-built cutting plant to enhance their skill sets.  Amongst topics discussed was Brexit and the importance of using British butchers to support our farmers.

PH Fish DemoSea

Next, Alex Bartlett, expert fish filleter at PH Fish Services showcased various techniques in filleting and preparing hake, gurnard, turbot and scallops.  Alex explained how he filleted his first fish at just ten years old, whilst Director Lee Hodges talked about the heritage of the business and his experience in the industry, both as a trawlerman and fishmonger to trade.

Chefs Marcin, George and Adam then joined forces to cook the lamb and the fish on the demo stage, finishing it in the Falcon Counter top oven.  It was great to see such creativity and give the visiting chefs the chance to sample some of the best quality produce available.Lamb dish

Other highlights of the day were a competition by deep clean experts Bright Hygiene to win an Amazon Echo.  This was won by level two food and beverage and professional cookery diploma student Jordan Maleed (18) of North Kent College who correctly guessed the number of sweets in a jar to be 215!  These was also a talk on Santa Maria herbs and spices by F.O.O.D.I.E Sam Guarino and a presentation and tasting on Foie Royale (ethical alternative to foie gras) by Mike Logut of Sapphire Foods.

Surf and turf

The Chefs’ Forum is looking forward to holding its next event in Kent on the 8th April with Petrus Madutlela at the Poet at Matfield.  Any chefs or suppliers wishing to take part should contact

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