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Chefs' Forum: Hospitality Career Showcase at Cardiff Marriott

11 March 2019

The Chefs’ Forum was delighted hold its first Wales Chefs’ Forum event of 2019 on Monday 4th March at Cardiff Marriott. Students from Cardiff and Vale College and Coleg Gwent joined Executive chef Andrew Robertson and his team for a day of curriculum enrichment and work experience in event delivery.

Andrew worked with the students to prepare a canapé & drinks reception and a great afternoon of masterclasses and cookery demos followed. During the reception, chefs were encouraged to take a look around the mini trade show, where top suppliers showcased their products and services. Ron Hedicker of Falcon Foodservice cooked Usk Valley sausage rolls in the Falcon counter top oven which went down a treat with the chefs who attended.

Exhibitors included Headline Sponsor Cardiff Audi, showcasing the beautiful A7 outside the Marriott hotel in central Cardiff, Foie Royale, Falcon Foodservice, Syft, Koppert Cress, Santa Maria and Prowrap.

First to take to the stage was Andrew with Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha. Catherine and Andrew welcomed the hundred or so guests to the event and spoke about the positivity of chefs, colleges and universities coming together to raise the profile of the hospitality industry in Wales.

Catherine then welcomed Jack Cook and Alex Byrn from award-winning butchers Walter Rose & Son to the stage to give an expert pork butchery demonstration, creating cuts for Andrew to cook with.

Andrew then demonstrated a delicious pork loin dish with butternut squash puree, garnished with choice micro herbs from Koppert Cress. Koppert Cress development chef Jak Cresser-Brown paired some excellent cresses as ingredients as opposed to garnish including Shiso Purple and Gangnam Tops. Jak suggested Shiso Purple because it paired very nicely with the Asian influenced flavours, as well as the butternut squash. The Gangnam Tops gave a fresh crispy bite to the finished dish.

Gareth Hope, Executive Chef of Marriott St Pierre in Newport then took to the stage to create a beautiful herb-crusted striploin. Jak gave Gareth Time Cress as an aromatic to cook the striploin and then to finish Jak suggested Tahoon Cress, which enhanced the richness and deepened the flavour of the dish. Whilst they were demonstration, both chefs spoke of their camaraderie as part of the Marriott culinary team and said they often join forces for cooking events and CPD.

Mike Logut of Foie Royale then presented his fantastic ethical alternative to foie gras and it went down a storm with the chefs.

Andrew’s sous chef Angelo Rodrigues rounded-up the event with a brilliant eclair filling and decorating competition for the Coleg Gwent students. The prize was a day in the kitchen with the Marriott pastry chefs for the winner. Andrew was so impressed with all of the students that he offered to take a masterclass in the college for all students who took part. This will be arranged with Helen Lawless, Head of School for Hospitality and Catering.

Since the event yesterday, The Chefs’ Forum has been inundated with requests from chefs and colleges wishing to take part in quarterly events going forward - This is fantastic to see!

The next Welsh Chefs’ Forum event will be a Chefs’ Lunch, taking place at Cardiff and Vale College on the 17th June 2019. Any chefs or college wishing to attend should contact alexandra@redcherry.uk.com