Pan-Asian-Welsh-Fusion Chefs’ Forum Showcase at St David’s Hotel
St David’s Hotel, Cardiff saw top chefs from across Wales gather for a day of cookery demonstrations, a celebration of Welsh produce and networking. Executive Chef Martyn Watkins and his team made canapés and afternoon tea for the culinary experts who attended.
Butchery, Pan-Asian cookery, grilling and pastry were some of the highlights of the insightful and inspirational chef-centred day.
Headline Sponsor Cardiff Audi showcased the excellent A7 outside the stunning bay side hotel, further underpinning the link between the iconic five-star hotel and the excellence in customer service and product offered by the Audi brand experience.
The Chefs’ Forum sponsors Synergy Grill, Cardiff Audi, Santa Maria, Convotherm, Koppert Cress, Major International, Syft and Walter Rose & Son all took the opportunity to showcase their excellent produce, services and professional kitchen equipment in a mini trade show that took place in the new Admiral restaurant which looks out onto Cardiff Bay.
Martyn produced some excellent canapés including an audience of professional chefs, sharing his knowledge and inspiring seasonal menus. Chefs enjoyed Tempura King Prawn & Red Eye Mayo, Chicken Satay & Satay Dip and a Miso Roasted Smoked Cauliflower, Couscous & Pomegranate.
In-keeping with the theme, Chefs’ Forum sponsor Major International produced a menu of stunning Pan-Asian Broth, Oriental Chicken Rice Pot with super salads: Thai Slaw and Korean Beef Noodle Salad.
Convotherm demo chef Keith Howland produced some delicious puff pastry stuffed with sage, bacon and cheese in the Convotherm mini combi oven.
The visiting chefs were very well-fed indeed!
As a long-standing supporter of The Chefs’ Forum, Martyn said:
“I’m always happy to support The Chefs’ Forum and have hosted three events for the organisation to date. I’m always looking at ways of forging closer links with local catering colleges and this certainly gives me an opportunity to do so. Its always great to catch up with fellow chefs and collectively drive our industry forward. I’m looking forward to working with The Chefs’ Forum Academy through teaching in local colleges and inviting students to work with my team and I in the kitchens here at the hotel.”
The inspirational expert demos started with a butchery demonstration from award-winning butcher Jack Cook of Walter Rose & Son. Jack broke down a best end of lamb and short saddle, showcasing lamb rack, lamb Barnsley chops, pencil fillets and lamb noisettes – all in aid of promoting Love Lamb
Week, an initiative by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB). Love Lamb Week aims to increase awareness and sales of lamb amongst UK consumers. Jack also invited all visiting chefs to visit him at the cutting plant in Devizes to brush-up on their butchery skills, enabling them to make full use of the cuts they buy.
Martyn’s pan-Asian-Welsh-fusion menu worked really well and showcased the avant-garde gastronomic ambition of Martyn’s culinary team. Martyn has worked in some fantastic hotels including Hilton Cardiff and Tewksbury as well as Marriott Bristol. It’s great to see him bringing his knowledge and expertise to St David’s Hotel and the new Admiral restaurant.
The Guests were treated to a fabulous demo by Martin, celebrating Love Lamb Week in style with a wasabi crusted Welsh rack of lamb, sweet potato puree and pak choi Asian mint dressing.
Martyn then demonstrated a real crowd-pleaser of salt & pepper squid, rock pool salad & palm sugar dressing. Both dishes are currently on the menu at The Admiral St David.
Whilst a brand-new custom-built demo stage was cleared down from the savoury demos, demo chef Claire Mansfield of Synergy grill perfectly-cooked Jack’s succulent cuts of Welsh lamb and finished Martyn’s 24hr slow cooked pork belly & pickled veg with homemade bao buns. Martyn cooked the pork belly in the water bath for 24 hours then gave it to and Claire added just the right colour and grill marks on the Synergy SG630, positioned on The Admiral’s sunny balcony terrace overlooking Cardiff Bay.
Hospitality staffing app Syft was then explained to the audience by CEO Jack Beaman. The chef shortfall is being heavily highlighted in the mass media at the moment. This clever app enables employers to advertise for and hire tried and tested temps, last minute, at reasonable rates from their mobile device – A great new addition to The Chefs’ Forum and a useful resource for its members!
Head Pastry Chef Michael Coggen joined Martyn on the demo stage to showcase his dish from Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals. Demi CDP Rebecca James also showcased one of her dishes of chocolate tart with raspberry sorbet.
Michael also showcased his Bake off inspired tropical tart and Melin & bittersweet chocolate crémeux macarons which both went down a treat!
The day finished with a Cocktail Master Class by Head Barman, Caspian Leigh.
Caspian showcased his Brecon Star, made with fresh egg white, as well as his Maple Old Fashioned, finished with a flamed orange peel. Taster shots were served to the audience during the demo, which the culinary guests very much enjoyed.
The action-packed day came to a close, the chefs left with a full goody bag of samples and exhibitor information.
The Welsh chefs are very much looking forward to the next event on the 29th October at Cardiff and Vale College. Any suppliers or chefs wishing to attend should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: jeni-meade-photography.com