Top Chefs Celebrate ‘Ansome’ Cornish Produce at The Headland Hotel

Stunning Newquay coastline formed the backdrop for The Chefs’ Forum Made in Kernow event at The Headland Hotel on Monday (21) March.  Top Cornish chefs, Cornish suppliers and Hospitality students from both Cornwall College and Truro & Penwith College, gathered for a celebration of Cornish food, hosted by The Headland’s Executive Head Chef, Chris Archambault.

Chris has been working with The Chefs’ Forum for the past four years to inspire the next generation across the South West.  He previously hosted the launch of the Devon Chefs’ Forum at Southernhay House in 2012.

Chris Archambault giving a briefing to the studentsThe aim of the day at The Headland Hotel in sunny Newquay was to encourage top Cornish chefs to showcase local produce in their menus with Chris showing them dishes from his tantalising menu, which does just that!

Chris Archambault with the studentsStudents from Cornwall College and Truro & Penwith College got the opportunity to show off their culinary skills, working alongside Chris and his talented brigade to create beautiful canapés incorporating top-drawer Cornish produce for the culinary experts who attended.

Gavin Roberts of Two Brothers Foods Butchery DemoGavin Roberts from Wadebridge-based Two Brothers Foods opened the show with a fantastic butchery demonstration of optimising financial yield from cheaper beef cuts and achieving the perfect pork fore rib joint – Both the beef and pork cuts are designed to help chefs save money and maximise profits.

Chris Leek Demo DishChris Archambault then performed two fantastic cookery demonstrations from his menu at The Headland Hotel: Leeks vinaigrette, local lobster and crab terrine with Bloody Mary sauce and pork chop, quinoa, red cabbage puree, celeriac & charred onion– He explained incorporating modern techniques such as the use of transglutaminase (protein glue) and ‘random symmetry’ to achieve the required presentation.   With beautiful dishes like this on the menu and the recent award of an AA Rosette, the restaurant at The Headland Hotel is a must-visit dining destination in Cornwall!

Next, students from both Cornwall College and Truro and Penwith College tried their hand at the pork fore rib joint which saw enthusiastic students applying the complex butchery skills they learnt from Gavin’s demo.

They all did fantastically well and really impressed the professional chefs who looked on.

L-R Gavin Roberts of Two Brothers Foods - Tom Roskilly Winner of Butchery Comp - Chris Archambault Head ChefLevel 1 student, Tom Roskilly stood out as the star performer on the day winning a one-week stage with Chris Archambault at The Headland Hotel, to include a day with Gavin at Two Brothers Foods butchery.

Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha then interviewed Cornish producers including Tarquin’s Gin, Trewithens Dairy and local egg supplier Julie Hewitt of Rose Down Farm.

Frazer Hill Cornwall CollegeThe grand finale to the day was a stunning Afternoon tea prepared and served by Chris and the team showcasing fabulous ingredients donated by proper Cornish suppliers including the finest macaroons and traditional Cornish scones with Boddingtons jam and Trewithens clotted cream – A true Celebration of Cornish food!

The Chefs’ Forum stages quarterly events to enhance top chefs’ skill sets and strengthen links with local catering colleges to inspire and enthuse the next generation of young chefs.

Chris Archambault stated:
“I was extremely impressed with the students’ performance – They were good-humoured, enthusiastic, got their heads down and turned it on. They weren’t overwhelmed by the big list of tasks issued to them on arrival. “

Tom Roskilly aged 16, a Level 1 Hospitality student at Truro & Penwith College was delighted to be offered a stage with Chris Archambault and his 28-strong brigade of chefs at The Headland.

Catherine Farinha, stated:
“We love seeing young people secure opportunities of the back of Chefs’ Forum events – It is certainly the most rewarding aspect of running this industry organisation. We stage thirty two chef events per year from London to Cornwall, Wales to Kent and have seen many students receive offers of work experience from chefs attending these events.  Tom had his chance to shine at our ‘Made in Kernow’ event yesterday and it definitely paid off”!

L-R Liz Beckett Cornwall College - Gavin Roberts Two Brothers Foods - Tom Roskilly Truro and Penwith CollegeTom commented:
“It has been a thoroughly enjoyable day, very inspirational and I have learned lots of new techniques: I now know lots more about pork butchery and utilisation of local, Cornish ingredients – My family produce Roskilly ice-cream here in Cornwall so it’s great to meet fellow producers.  I am really happy about Chris’ offer of a stage at The Headland and my day with Gavin and really look forward to working with them both”.

The Chefs’ Forum aims to enhance the skill sets of top chefs in industry and students through showcasing the latest techniques being used in industry – This time it was ‘ansome, proper Cornish produce, all made in Kernow!

Photography by