Top London Chefs Gather to Celebrate Welsh Seafood and Drinks
The Chefs’ Forum in conjunction with The Welsh Seafood Cluster, celebrated a sensational lunch featuring the best seafood from the Welsh coastline at L’Oscar London with 70 top chefs in attendance.
Nia Griffith, North Wales Seafood Cluster Manager from the Cywain project’s Welsh Seafood Cluster welcomed the chefs to the lunch and told them all about the project which supports and champions Welsh Seafood.
“It’s really important that we showcase our wonderful producers to UK chefs. It was a great opportunity to welcome sector leaders to meet the chefs and students who cooked the lunch and fully appreciate the versatility and quality of Welsh Seafood within the delicious dishes that these top chefs have created with the various species showcased on the day.”
Catherine Farinha, director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “We are delighted to be here at L’Oscar in the opulent but stunning library dining room. On St David’s Day we are celebrating Welsh Seafood and with the Welsh Drinks Cluster we have been able to pair the seafood with Welsh wines and Mead that complement the dishes.
“Many of the chefs cooking lunch today have worked alongside us for years and it’s great to invite them all to such a unique venue and Allan Pickett’s kitchen.
“The chefs have been joined by students from four of our Chefs’ Forum Academies: Coleg Gwent, Pembrokeshire, Central Bedfordshire and West London.”
The guest chefs who joined Allan on in the kitchen on the day were Tom Westerland (Former National Chef of Wales and Head Chef at Crockers Henley), Peter Gorton (International Chef Consultant), Richard Davies (Great British Menu Winner 2013 and Executive Chef at Calcot & Spa) and Jamie Houghton (President of the UK Pastry Team and Pastry Sous Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons).
Welsh Seafood and drinks producers took to the microphone throughout the lunch to present the produce used in the chef’s recipes to the guests while they were enjoying the dishes and the Welsh drinks paired with them that included Velfrey Quality Sparkling Wine, White Castle Sparkling Wine, Wye Valley Elderflower Mead, Llaethliw white wine and Ancre Hill Rose.
The guest chefs and food and beverage team were supported by hospitality and catering students from West London College, Central Bedfordshire College, Pembrokeshire College and Coleg Gwent, who have also participated in Welsh Seafood Chef’s Academy sessions with the Welsh Seafood Cluster.
Not only did the students get an excellent day of work experience and using the skills that they learnt in these sessions, but also the experience of staging a prestigious industry event for top chefs and hospitality employers, while also having the chance to network with their peers from other UK colleges and sample fine Welsh produce on St David’s Day at a top London hotel. These are all huge benefits of being part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy programme of curriculum enrichment.
Allan Pickett, exec chef of L’Oscar Hotel, said:
“It’s a pleasure to work with such fine students and senior chef peers, cooking with the amazing bounty of Welsh food and drink. It was fantastic to see how inspired and enthusiastic all of the students from the four colleges were on the day. I’m equally delighted to have served such distinguished chefs as guests on the day. I have worked with The Chefs’ Forum since the beginning ten years ago and its to see how much it has grown both in education and influence. It’s a great time to be Welsh with such fantastic produce.”
The participating chefs created a truly spectacular menu featuring oyster, crab, mussels, scallops and lobster.
Richard Davies, exec chef of Calcot Manor, in charge of the lobster ravioli, said: “Cooking with this level of quality makes my job easy. The Welsh Lobster ravioli were stunning and it tasted even better as a result of being dispatched humanely with Crustastun. The meat was far sweeter as it was less stressed.”
Hannah Cooper, Level two student from Coleg Gwent, Cross Keys was really happy to be offered the opportunity of representing her college in London, she said
Hannah Cooper from Coleg Gwent College said: “I am excited to be here. It’s given me an opportunity to see a London professional kitchen and an insight into L’Oscar and meet some really great chefs.”
The Chefs’ Forum lunches are a great way of bringing everybody together through food, showcasing top chefs and inspiring the next generation of hospitality professionals.
This Welsh Seafood Lunch showed chefs from all over the UK the reason why they should incorporate the finest quality Welsh seafood and drinks into their menus!
Please let us know if you would like any further information on this wonderful Welsh produce and we would be delighted to connect you with the team.
Photography by www.harryelletson.com