Top Chefs Celebrate the Kentish Cobnut at Potash Farm
Top chefs and suppliers from across Kent came together at Potash Farm on Monday (August 24) for a Cobnut-themed day of cookery demos organised by The Chefs’ Forum including a tour of the Cobnut orchard led by proprietor Alexander Hunt.
The Kentish Cobnut is a type of hazelnut traditionally grown in Kent. They are harvested in their green state from mid August and with brown shells and husks by mid October. This event set to showcase various Cobnut recipes and the versatility of this wise little fruit.
Chef Tom Biddle of Tudor Park Marriott worked with learners from the HIT Training Academy to create a delicious array of cobnut canapés including Cheesemakers of Canterbury Kelly Goat’s cheese rarebit with cobnut beurre noisette, Chart Farm venison samosa with cobnut satay sauce, Cobnut shortbread with vanilla cheesecake and cobnut sugar and coffee and vanilla panna cotta with cobnut brittle.
“The HIT Learners have been brilliant today and have interacted well with Julie Boer, my Head Pastry chef and myself. They have acquired new skills in samosa-wrapping and sugar work. It was fantastic for them to hear first-hand all of the positive feedback on their work from industry experts – The learners are a real credit to HIT Training and the next generation.”
Guests gathered at Potash Farm, St Marys Platt, near Sevenoaks in Kent to find out more about how Cobnuts are produced and how to use them in recipes. Next on the agenda was an expert cookery demonstration by Chef Dan Kennedy of Kent Cookery School. The talented chef captivated the audience as he confidently created a dish of smoked venison with a cobnut puree then a panna cotta with sugared cobnuts – Dan’s demo was peppered with personality and humour and went down a storm with his chef peers.
“I really enjoy cooking with Kentish Cobnuts as they celebrate fantastic local seasonal produce. I’ve really enjoyed our day at Potash Farm as it has catapulted this humble ingredient into the limelight in front of the county’s leading chefs”.
The Chefs were then treated to a venison butchery demonstration by Westminster Kingsway College Chef Lecturer in Culinary Arts and Game Expert Jose Souto. A Chart Farm haunch of venison was broken down into steaks to show the chefs how to maximise on financial yield from this part of the animal.
Alexander Hunt then took the chefs on a tour of his Cobnut orchard to show them where the Cobnuts are grown. Alexander concluded:
“The chefs really enjoyed the tour and I was completely overwhelmed by the support the chefs have shown for today’s Chefs’ Forum event at my farm. The sophistication of the food cooked in the well-equipped field kitchen today was astounding, completely unaffected by the atrocious weather. Our spirits remained high regardless and the event was a resounding success for all involved.
Chefs’ Forum events are designed to enhance knowledge of chefs and Front of House professionals in industry whilst inspiring the next generation of hospitality professionals. This was a rare opportunity to learn about the provenance of the Kentish Cobnut whilst promoting it as a serious and delicious ingredient.