Food & Drink

The Chef’s Forum at Le Méridien Piccadilly

I was recently invited to attend a food industry networking event at Le Méridien Piccadilly by The Chef’s Forum, an organisation that brings together top chefs and catering students to inspire and motivate. As you know I love food so always find it interesting to learn what’s happening in the trade and what new food products and trends are coming our way.

The afternoon included tastings, demonstrations and the chance to network with culinary experts and suppliers. Here’s a look at what I discovered and imbibed:

Phillip Schofield chocolate head by Paul Wayne Gregory

Yes that is Phillip Schofield’s head in chocolate form! Created by master chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory

Chocolate art caramels by Paul Wayne Gregory

Paul doesn’t just carve chocolate heads! Some delectable caramels he made.

Tasting olive oils from Provence

Tasting olive oils from Olivence, the Provence Olive Oil Society

Koppert Cress selection of intriguing microgreens ...including apple blossom, oyster leaves, camembert leaves, sweet-tasting dulce buttons

Koppert Cress stand had a selection of tastebud-tantalisingly, intriguing microgreens …including apple blossom, oyster leaves, camembert leaves, sweet-tasting dulce buttons

New seaweed seasonings from Cornish Sea Salt Co

New seaweed seasonings from Cornish Sea Salt Co

Michael, Head Chef  Catherine Farina, founder, The Chef's Forum

Michael Dutnall, Head Chef, Le Méridien Piccadilly; Favis of Salcombe lobster and crab dressing demonstration;  Catherine Farinha, founder, The Chef’s Forum

Favis lobster canapes made with assistance from HIT Training Academy students

Favis of Salcombe lobster canapes. All the food we sample was made by Michael Dutnall assisted by HIT Training Academy students

Paul Wayne Gregory chocolate making demonstration proved very popular. It was elbows out to get a bite.

Paul Wayne Gregory chocolate making demonstration proved very popular. It was elbows out to get a bite.

Paul Wayne Gregory salted caramels

Paul Wayne Gregory salted caramels

Selection of Le Meridien Piccadilly Eclairs

A sample of the signature éclairs available on the menu at Le Meridien Piccadilly

Five students took part in an éclair filing and decorating competition, which was won by Karlis Pumpurins from Baxter Storey. It must have been quite nerve-wracking with some of the UK’s top pastry chefs judging – Ririn Biggs, Head Pastry Chef at Le Méridien Piccadilly; Markus Boer, Executive Pastry Chef at Harrods; Thomas Leatherbarrow, Head Pastry Chef at Pastry Development Ltd; Sarah Hartnett, Head Pastry Chef at Sheraton Park Lane and Will Torrent, Pastry Development Chef for Waitrose.

Eclair filling and decorating competition

Eclair filling and decorating competition

Sipsmith London Gin Tasting

Sipsmith London Gin Tasting

Sipsmith Summer Cup

Sipsmith Summer Cup. This could be my new summer drink – move over Pimm’s!

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum, Catherine Farinha, commented: “I am delighted that the event proved to be such a success. The purpose of The Chefs’ Forum is to create links between chefs at the top of their profession and young people who are just starting out and today has given the students the chance to not just learn from some fabulous chefs, but also work alongside them.”

For more information visit The Chef’s Forum website 

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