The Chefs’ Forum Fly Fishing Taster Day had Devon Chefs Reeled In!

The sun shone on The Arundell Arms Hotel yesterday, a stunning venue which saw over fifty acclaimed chefs from the region try their hand at the popular country sport of fly fishing.  Top chefs from Devon and Cornwall enjoyed a day of great food prepared by Steve Pidgeon, head chef at The Arundell Arms and a fish cookery demonstration by Mike Palmer, Head Chef at The Two Bridges.

The chefs showcased latest cooking techniques and menu trends to an audience of their peers. Mike wowed the audience with his dish of rainbow trout, coated in ‘airbag’ pork crackling with Cornish asparagus and potato salad.

Commenting on his delight in hosting a Chefs’ Forum event at The Arundell Arms, Head Chef Steve said:
“It was an honour to welcome such a great number of top chefs from across the region to The Arundell Arms. The dishes we presented today reflect the fabulous produce we are lucky enough to have in Devon. As you can imagine, there is some pressure when you are performing in front of your peers and I’m really pleased that they appreciated what our team has done today”.

There is always a great turn out at Chefs Forum themed events as its culinary expert members relish the opportunity to do something enjoyable on their day off (usually Mondays) whilst forging links with their peers, young chefs and aspiring front of house professionals from local catering colleges.

Andy Wheeler of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation then offered a fisherman’s perspective on sustainable fish and its seasonality – A topic that is of great interest and extremely important to chefs in devising fish menus from both a costing and quality stand point.

Catherine Farinha, Founder of The Chefs’ Forum commented:
“We held this event to showcase the connection between the sport of game fishing and incorporating more fish into menus. Seasonality of fish is extremely important when selecting what fish dishes to serve at various times of year. Fish is a commodity and market prices fluctuate with availability and demand”.

Expert Fly Fishing coach, David Pilkington at The Arundell Arms tutored the chefs  in fly tying and casting a rod with a view to inviting them to taking it up as a sport.  With further coaching they will then have the necessary skills to catch their own fish to incorporate into their menus.  It is also a fantastic way to relax on days off from their busy kitchens.

The Chefs’ Forum aims to enhance the skill sets of top chefs in industry through updating them with the latest techniques being used by their peers – This time, promoting the use of seasonal  and sustainable fish in menus and offering the opportunity to take part in an afternoon of fly fishing which they very much enjoyed.

Photography: Andrew Plant, Imagine Photographic