On Monday 20th June 70 chefs enjoyed a special lunch at The George & Dragon in Speldhurst, near Tunbridge Wells with students from North Kent College in the kitchen alongside four invited chefs who put together the menu.
The special day was to celebrate 10 years of The Chefs’ Forum and follows similar lunches in Manchester, Wales and The Cotswolds.
Chefs’ Forum Director Catherine Farinha praised the chefs and the students who put together the lunch: “Every place we’ve been to on the amazing 10th year celebratory journey has pulled out all the stops. The lunch was fabulous today and the young students from North Kent College really showed their colours. I’m just so proud of our whole team and the fact that we are 10 years old and still helping chefs and students to reach new heights.”
The menu consisted of four courses, each produced by a local chef.
Scott Goss from The Beacon kicked off with a starter of leeks and potato followed by a fish dish by Will Devlin the chef patron from The Small Holding.
Scott is a long-standing supported of The Chefs’ Forum and his starter went down a treat.
Will cooked cod cheeks with new season peas and a smoked chilli dressing. The dish was served on a special plate by Wedgwood from their Gio Bone China range. He then told the chefs all about his retention of his green Michelin star and the ethos of his business that won it for him.
Minimal packaging, food miles and a farm to form philosophy puts Will at the forefront of the industry when it comes to his sustainable practices. The Small Holding is proud itself accountable for both its ethical and environmental standards.
Third up was Bobby Brown of host venue The George & Dragon who used delicious free range Duroc x Hampshire pork from top catering butcher, HG Walter to create pulled pork bao buns with Asian slaw.
Bobby took the opportunity to welcome his chef peers to The George and Dragon and talked to them about his journey to opening his own place.
He was very impressed with the students from North Kent College who all pitched-in, cooking and serving the various courses.
He said: “It is really great to see everyone back together after a really tough couple of years. The students did a fantastic job today in cooking the lunch for our industry guests. We were blessed with gorgeous weather today and its wonderful to see such support for the next generation of chefs.”
Finally, Graham Green, chef patron at Chives Caterers produced chargrilled pineapple with a rum glaze alongside a lemon posset cup with an Australian Anzac biscuit and apricot purée.
Duncan Weetman, Head of Curriculum at North Kent College said: “Our students were so excited to be involved today. It was brilliant from start to finish. Not only did they get to cook alongside true professionals but they worked with amazing ingredients and stunning plates. A big thank you to Catherine and the whole team at The Chefs’ Forum. The work they do makes teaching our students so much easier.”
A special thank you to all our sponsors, including Chef Works, HG Walter, Wedgwood, Foie Royale, Taylor UK, Adande, Shepherd Neame, The Heritage Fruit and Vegetable Company and Mitchell & Cooper.
Photo credit: Jason Wain