Salcombe Gin and Glorious Gastronomy Enjoyed by Devon Chefs at Salcombe Harbour Hotel

Brilliant sunshine kissed the stunning Salcombe estuary on Monday (25) September. Top chefs from Devon and beyond gathered at the superb Salcombe Harbour Hotel for a day of culinary celebration and networking.

Salcombe Gin 250The Chefs’ Forum holds four events per year in Devon and it was fantastic to see so many loyal supporters from across the county and beyond!

Head Chef Jamie Gulliford welcomed eleven students from South Devon College into his kitchen to cook and serve canapes from his menu with ingredients supplied by Two Brothers Foods, Rex Down Fish Merchants, Arthur David Foodservice, Koppert Cress and Dart Fresh.

Jamie said:
“From my experience, you don’t know what to expect from students when they arrive in the kitchen. Today, however showed me that the South Devon College students were more than capable of rising to the challenge. Once I showed them what to do, they created and served the canapes with very little intervention from me.  I am delighted with their attitude and results produced.”

Jamies DemoJamie opened the show with a fabulous demo of goat’s cheese quenelle in bread crumbs with pickled beetroot. He announced that it would be going on the menu next week, so today’s event was a great opportunity to test it on his chef peers.

Next up, was Gavin Roberts of Two Brothers Foods who gave an impressive butchery master class on how ‘clever cooks use cheaper cuts’.  He showed the chefs how to save huge money of their bottom line through substituting more popular cuts with less well-known delicious alternatives.  Beef shin, chuck steak and flat iron steaks, King Arthur/Faux Rib roast were all promoted as ‘the way forward’ whether they bought from Two Brothers or otherwise.

Gavin said:Two Brothers Demo
Of course, I would love you to use Two Brothers for all of your butchery needs, but if you ask any butcher for Bucco (shin), Blade roast, or any other of the other cheaper cuts I have demonstrated today, they will probably kiss you! 

We as an industry need to recognise, that there is only a finite amount of prime cuts on any animal. In terms of sustainability, every kitchen only using fillet, rump, ribeye or lamb chump (examples) is simply unsustainable.

Gavin Two BrothersNot only are we morally obligated to use more of the beast having taken its life, but in not embracing these lesser known cuts we are truly missing out on deliciously different gastro adventures with strong USP & robbing ourselves of some absolute GP% legends… Were all on the same side…Oui chef!”

Keith Rowland of Webilt cooked-up the delicious beef cuts on the Inducs induction grill, then finished them in the Convotherm mini oven – A fantastic space-saving, single phase combi oven – a brilliant little cousin to its larger three phase editions in the Convotherm range – The chefs were suitably impressed with the meat as well as the technological brilliance.

Salcombe Gin tastingAngus Lugsdin, Founder of Salcombe Gin then took the floor to give a tasting of his delicious handcrafted gin, distilled with thirteen carefully selected botanicals.

Rex Down FishRikki Down of Rex Down Fish Merchants led the students in filleting some local plaice.  The students did a great job with Liam Hope-Brown, level two student securing himself a day of fish filleting at Rex Down HQ to really hone his skills.

Paul Griffiths, Wholesale Manager at Clifton Coffee rounded-off the day with a coffee cupping demonstration, encouraging chefs to ‘slurp’ his tiClifton Coffeemed brews in order to truly experience different tasting notes in his speciality coffee.  This was accompanied by yet more delicious afternoon tea canapés prepared by the students.

A great day was had by all and the event was extremely well-received by all who attended.

The Chefs’ Forum will hold a Chefs’ Lunch on the 13th November at South Devon College featuring Mitch Tonks and Mark Dodson cooking with the students to raise money for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation.  Anyone wishing to secure their place, please contact

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