Top Chefs Celebrate Stokes Marsh Farm Beef from Pasture to Plate!
Walter Rose butchers played host to the Chefs’ Forum at Stokes Marsh Farm in Coulston, Westbury. Top chefs from across the UK gathered in the sunshine to see the farm in all its splendour and learn about the complex processes employed by the Johnson family to produce the best possible beef for its customers.
Tim Johnson, started the day by welcoming the hundred or so guests to his farm, giving them an insight into the long-standing relationship he has with Walter Rose & Son. Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha and Gloucestershire College School Lead Mark Hyde-Catton then relayed the importance of working together to enrich learning of the students.
Michelin-starred Executive Chef Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park) lead a brigade of talented young chefs from Gloucestershire College to produce some excellent canapés in the ‘Chefs’ Forum Field Kitchen’ in the farm’s barn to showcase Stokes Marsh Farm beef: Steak tartar with beetroot on a rye cracker and a corned brisket, Bramley apple and horseradish.
Chris T-bone chops of DJ BBQ fired-up the Kamado Joe grill and served up a delicious ‘plank’ of dirty platted beef fillet with coal roasted oysters and mushrooms. He also made delicious ‘dirty steak and eggs’ where a bavette steak was cooked and blackened on the charcoal and fresh quail eggs were baked in the Falcon counter top convection oven.
Hywel Jones then took to the demo stage along with Sous Chef Alex Green and Junior Sous Richard Henderson to performed a fantastic cookery demonstration of fillet of Tim Johnson’s beef, Oxtail, Smoked Roscoff Onion and Caramelised Sherry Vinegar. The trio also invited student Sophie Clough to help cook the dish in front of an audience of chefs and she did a great job!
Tim Johnson, third generation farmer then led chefs on a tour of the farm. Tim gave an excellent talk and tour, the cattle are allowed to potter in and out of the barn and field as they please. The specialist diet includes a mix of straw, grass silage, maize silage and barley to finish the cattle off to market standard, ready for slaughter. Typically, twenty-five to thirty months old, Stokes Marsh Farm beef is produced from UK native breeds crossed with Angus or Hereford to give the flavour and conformity required for truly great tasting beef. The beef is allowed to hang and mature naturally in the local abattoir before being passed onto Walter Rose & Son to hang in their fridges Chris Clark, Beer Master General at The Three Daggers Brewery gave a fascinating talk on how beer is made at the local brewery. Hops was passed around for the audience to touch, taste and smell whilst they enjoyed delicious beer on tap, served from the Three Daggers Beer Bus!for a further four to six weeks. Walter Rose then take great pride in carefully preparing the vast range of cuts requested by top chefs.
The Chefs’ Forum sponsors Bath Audi, Total Produce, Koppert Cress, Lovejoys, Valentine Equipment, Ritter Courivaud, Kamado Joe, Fish For Thought, Santa Maria, Williams Refrigeration, Falcon Foodservice, Prowrap and Foie Royale all took the opportunity to join Walter Rose and Son down on the farm to showcase their excellent produce, services and professional kitchen equipment in a mini trade show that took place in a large barn, with a Kamado Joe BBQ and Three Daggers beer bus in the farmyard.
A great day was had by all on the farm and it was fantastic to see the provenance of such high-quality meat whilst giving the chefs a chance to network with peers and suppliers, whilst learning about finest quality Wiltshire beef. Any chefs wishing to talk to Walter Rose & Son about supply of Stokes Marsh Farm beef should contact Jack Cook on 01380 731058.
Photography by www.andrewplantphotography.com