Gourmet Charity Dinner Barnfield Dinner

Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef
In mid September 2010 a former colleague Kevin Clark Executive Chef at the Luton Hoo hotel - Kevin and I had worked together in the early 1990's at Gleneagles hotel, sent us here at "Cooking Towers" an e-mail, about a charity event that he was going to be involved in October, with a number of other leading Chefs including Andrew Bennett MBE, Sarah Harnett, and Paul Gayler, a Chef I really admired in the late 1980's and 1990's and Paul was still a Chef that I was very keen to meet. The Staff Canteen gets many requests to support charities, which often makes our choice extremely difficult, however I felt that with the Chefs that were attached to this event, and the fact that it involved a course cooked by the students at Barnfield College in Luton, it was a worth-while event, and happily agreed to attend. So I set off to the somewhat salubrious, surrounding of Luton on a wet Thursday afternoon, and arrived around 4.00pm. I'm met by Kevin, who walks me through the light rain to the kitchen, outside is Paul Gayler talking into his mobile. I'm actually down to eat and have a table placement, two things here, guests have paid £50.00 to eat, of which the funds are going to the charity, and I haven't and equally I feel, that my time would be best used in the engine room, though thankfully for the Chefs and me not in my whites or having to hold a knife...Phew! Each Chef has to prepare a course, with a team of students from Barnfield College, the menu and Chefs for the evening are as follows:


Vince O'Toole A highly talented Pastry Chef who has won many gold medals for desserts and sugar craft. Together with Steve Lattimer they work at Spencer House, London where he has been for the past 20 years. Steve Lattimer Currently Head Chef at Spencer House which is the Ancestral House of the Spencer Family, now owned by Lord Rothschild, and is used for entertaining Heads of State and Dignitaries as well as corporate entertainment although the room hire alone is £18,000. Prior to this he previously worked at The Waldorf Hotel, London and then moved to The Garrick Club.

First Course

Tian of Crab Avocado and Lobster Tomato Chilli Jam Kevin Clark Currently Executive Chef at the 5 star Luton Hoo Hotel controlling a brigade of 40 Chefs. His career spans from being Head Chef at St Andrews in Scotland, The Savoy, London L'Horizon in Jersey and Executive Chef at The Foxhills Estate. He is a member of The Master Chefs of Great Britain.


Boudin of Smoked Chicken with Apples and Cepe Jus Paul Gayler Executive Chef at The Lanesborough Hotel, London where he has been for the past 18 years and has written over 20 cookery books. He has held Michelin Stars at Indigo Jones in London and was a Premier Sous Chef under Anton Mosimann at The Dorchester Hotel. He was given a Life Time Achievement Award in 2000 for Services to the Industry and has won many gold medals throughout Europe for various competitions.

Main Course

Slow Roast Fillet of Beef and Cannelloni of Braised Oxtail "˜Grand-Veneur' smoked Celeriac and Horseradish Mash Button Sprouts Smoked Bacon, Mushrooms and Chestnuts. Andrew Bennett Currently Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Manager at The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, London where he has been for the past 17 years. He has experience in many 5 star Hotels and Michelin restaurants spanning a 35 year career. He is a former Barnfield student and current chairman of the National Chef of the Year and a member of the Dubai Culinary Judging Team. He was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to the industry and the development of young talent.   Phil Constable Senior Sous Chef at The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel for the past 10 years and was previously at The Savoy and Sopwell House in St Albans. He is one of the best Banqueting Chefs in London as he has experience of numerous industry dinners and has won gold medals in many culinary competitions.


Warm Spiced Gingerbread Caramelised Oranges and Nutmeg Ice Cream   Sarah Harnett One of London's Top Pastry Chefs and is currently The Craft Guild of Chefs Pastry Chef of the Year. She worked at Claridges Hotel, London for 7 years and has been at The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel for the past 5 years. A very dedicated and focused Chef who has 2 ex- Barnfield students in her team at the moment and is currently coaching a third.

Coffee and Petit Fours

Provided by Town & Country Fine Foods & Barnfield College White Wine Niel Joubert Chenin Blanc 2010 South Africa

Red Wine

Las Condas Merlot 2009 Chile Priory Falls Water Bread provided by John Barge of Barnfield College. The evening hosts consisted of the following people:  

Your Hosts

Tony Ford Brian Turner CBE


Liam Toomey and Piers Roberts

Guest Speakers

Brian Turner CBE Mark Relf, Keech Hospice Auction Santé du Chef

Closing words

by Andrew Bennett MBE   Each Chef briefs the front of house team, and the students, and the guests are due to sit down at 7.30pm, first, the guests are treated to canapés before taking a short wet walk to the main restaurant. 180 plates are laid on trellis tables as Kevin Clark, and the team, are placing diced avocado into metal rings, which is topped with fresh crab, lobster and served with chilli jam, rows of young front of house students quickly whisk the plates away, to an awaiting throng of guests. Back in the kitchen, a busy Paul Gayler asks why there is so many vegetarians today.... I have to reply that it's "probably due to Chefs in the 1990's doing books for them!!!" "Think I shot myself in the foot there!!!" as he warms his homemade Boudin through the oven. Paul lines his team of chefs up on the hotplate and runs through how the dish, should look and be plated, I have to say this was an outstanding dish, simple and full of flavour. The beef is also slow cooking through the ovens at this stage, Phil and Paul remove the beef and have the garnish portioned up in empty Mr Kipling foil tins, ah those days of hundreds of banquets come flooding back! Phil has his team, again all lined up regimented like soldiers on parade, the slow beef is sliced and reveals a blushing pink in colour, lines of plates and hands flash with speed as they move along the hotplate one after the other, the white plates flash under the glowing halogen lights. Back to the corridor, where the highly organised Sarah Harnett is. Sarah has had freezer challenges for the best part of the day, but still manages to pull off an outstanding dessert, encouraging the students to place all the desserts in the same direction.  Rows of plates disappear through double swing doors that open to reveal a merry collection of smiley faced diners just before Brian Turner is tasked with raising as much money as possible through the auction. As a long day draws to a close a group of outstanding young Chefs from Barnfield College their lecturers and the Chefs take a very well deserved Santè de Chef!
In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 22nd November 2010

Gourmet Charity Dinner Barnfield Dinner