The Chefs’ Forum Expands Employer Showcases with Chotto Matte Soho Lunch

The Chefs’ Forum is set to continue to expand in 2024 following several successful ‘Employer Showcases’ in 2023. The first lunch of 2024 was  on Monday 15th January at Chotto Matte (Soho) with several group chefs involved in showcasing the unique Nikkei or Japanese-Peruvian style of the group.

The employer showcase lunch format is simple. A major restaurant or hotel group plays host to a lunch organised by The Chefs’ Forum. Key chefs from varied group sites “show off” the skills and signature dishes of their restaurants and invited guests and industry professionals sit down to a top lunch. In 2023 The Chefs’ Forum perfected the format with key events for, among others, D&D London, Eden Hotel Collection, Radisson and Hotel du Vin & Malmaison.

Having been privileged enough to visit Chotto Matte’s Miami site last month, we continued our Chotto Matte tour at the Marylebone site, where Team Chefs’ Forum met with Head Chef Santo Pate, who gave a fantastic tour of the venue and created some wonderful dishes to film and photograph.  We also had the pleasure of meeting Head Barman Marco Passarella who created a duo of delicious cocktails El Caminho and Wabi Sabi for us to try.

The following day, 70 industry guests attended the lunch at the Frith Street site of Chotto Matte where group chefs from Soho and Marylebone demonstrated the global menu and style of Chotto Matte.

These included:

Chotto Matte Founder, Kurt Zdesar took the mic to tell the guests about the Chotto Matte group and global career opportunities if chefs and industry professionals were to join.  He celebrated the young talent from West London College who helped cook and serve the special Nikkei lunch.

The students got to work with wonderful Australian beef and lamb, the freshest Royal Greenland prawns and seafood, as well as octopus and truffle, which college budgets don’t tend to stretch to.

First Choice Produce supplied all of the fresh produce for the event, which is always of the highest quality.

Kurt said

“It really is fantastic to welcome so many of our industry peers here to Chotto Matte Soho today and so amazing to see how well these young students are working with our team of chefs.  We are growing, with new sites planned for Riyadh and Manchester and more to come. There has never been a better time to join Chotto Matte with our international network of restaurants and the opportunity of travelling for work which I have enjoyed throughout my career. We pride ourselves on a real sense of family and friendship among the team.”

Group Executive Chef, Jordan Sclare has been extremely supportive of The Chefs’ Forum over the years, he said

“Today’s event has been a huge success.  My career with Chotto Matte has spanned over a decade and I really enjoy travelling with Kurt to research and open new sites. It is really important that we nurture and support the next generation of chefs and the opportunities we can offer them to work across our sites and hone their skills in Nikkei cuisine.  I have been really impressed with the students today and they really have got stuck in and given 100%.  We have many success stories across the group of students who have joined us on leaving college and I can’t wait to see if any of today’s students join the team and I once they have completed their courses at West London College.”

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs Forum, said:

This lunch was absolutely epic and continued the fine work we started in 2023. Recruitment at the top level in both London and throughout the country is hard work but our employer showcases are an excellent way of demonstrating the unique skills and opportunities that hotel and restaurant groups have. Chotto Matte put on a fantastic lunch, we absolutely love working with them and today showed exactly why they are a leading light in Nikkei cuisine here and across the world.”

The lunch in full:

Royal Greenland Snow Crab Dragon Roll
Salmon, avocado, unagi sauce

California Roll
Royal Greenland Snow crab, avocado, cucumber, tobiko

Chotto Ceviche (served in a Wedgwood Gio bowl)
Royal Greenland Halibut sashimi, leche de tigre, chive oil, sweet potato, Peruvian corn, coriander

Warm Aussie Beef Fillet Tataki
Seared beef, smoked aji panca, passion fruit salsa

Aussie Wagyu Beef Gyoza
Shiitake, sesame, teriyaki veal jus

Royal Greenland Prawn Truffle
Truffled shiitake mushroom, spring onion

Chuleta De Cordero Ahumada
Marinated and smoked Aussie lamb chop, coriander, Peruvian chilli miso

Panela Caramelised Apple Dream
Caramelised Asian pear, vanilla ice cream

Thank you to our sponsors: MCS Technical Products, Aussie Beef & Lamb, Off to Work, Chef Works, Brown Brothers, Wedgwood, Royal Greenland, Saucery, First Choice Produce and Vellamo.