Nestlé Professional Food Road Show 2013

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd March 2013
Nestlé Professional invited The Staff Canteen to their Professional Food Road Show at London’s O2 Arena where we could taste their new range of Professional products followed by a climb over the roof of the O2 Arena. We sent features editor, Lee Williams, in the hope that his head for heights would match his sweet tooth. Approaching the O2 Arena – or Millenium Dome, as was – from the outside, I cast a somewhat tentative look across its curved and suddenly very steep-looking roof, knowing that this was where I would be heading soon. The roof walk, or ‘Up at the O2’ as it is called, was 'kindly' thrown in by Nestlé Professional as part of the road show deal. On paper it had sounded very pleasant but now on a bleak and unseasonably cold March day with the full scale of the structure looming up before me, 'pleasant' no longer seemed like the appropriate term. I gulped and headed for the entrance. Luckily I had the truly pleasant part of the trip to look forward to first, which was to sample a range of Nestlé Professional's new food brands: Maggi, Nestle Docello and Chef. The aim of the road show was to showcase these products in a professional setting and show off their versatility in practical applications across a number of dishes. Right in the heart of the O2 arena beneath the high – oh so high – Dome, the Nestlé Professional Food Road show had set up its kitchen for the day. Inside the echoing, cavernous space four serving stations surrounded a demo kitchen where chefs were busy cooking up their various treats. I joined a small group of clients and prospective clients. We were guided professionally around the service area where we were able to enjoy intimate, bespoke presentations from each of the specialised chefs, as well as taste the food and ask questions. The four stations were Italian, Asian, burgers and desserts. The first was Italian and true to its name, it served up small tasty parcels of mushroom gnocchi, followed by peposo – a kind of Italian beef stew prepared with Maggi’s Rich and Rustic Tomato Sauce . Finally there were several delicious, bite-sized panzerotti or Italian pasties, also prepared with the ready-made tomato sauce. Next up was the Asian section where we were served vegetarian Pho. The chefs had used the Maggi Asian Liquid Fond Concentrate as a base for this wonderfully aromatic Vietnamese noodle soup. Thai green curry and pork skewers followed, both prepared with Maggi Coconut Milk Powder Mix. The burger station served steak burgers and Mexican spiced chicken wraps. The burgers were served with a delicious lobster mayo created by mixing mayonnaise with Lobster Fond from Nestlé’s Professional's Chef range. The Mexican wrap came with a delightfully tangy and sweet Maggi Devil’s Jam sauce. Finally there was the dessert section with mini chocolate fondants, mocha panna cotta and classic crème brulée, each made with Nestlé Professional's Docello range of delicious, easy-to-use, and time-saving ready mixes:  Nestlé Docello Crème Brulée; Nestlé Docello Panna Cotta and Nestlé Docello Chocolate Fondant. These dessert ready mixes are all simply prepared by adding milk and cream whilst still retaining a rich, authentic flavour. The desserts, like all the dishes seemed to be going down a treat with my fellow tasters. They were certainly going down well with me. I could have gone round the whole four sections a second time. In fact I was on the verge of begging to go round a second time, because this would delay what was inevitably coming next – the dreaded ascent of the dome. But alas the inevitable could not be delayed. I was escorted towards the outside where a timely drizzle had just begun to add to my woes. I considered faking some kind of stomach upset but quickly realised that this wouldn’t be a very fair acknowledgement of Nestlé Professional’s hospitality on the day. In the pre-ascent area I was strapped up in a safety harness that felt more like prison chains and had safety instructions intoned in my ear that felt more like prophecies of doom . While this was happening, I reflected that the whole roof ascent thing was a great marketing idea on Nestlé Professional’s part. As you clamber up a 25 degree slope through the rain and freezing wind, chained to a very flimsy-looking safety wire, you can’t help but dream of sitting in the warmth, sipping a coffee and tucking into a nice Nestlé Docello crème brulée. They really were good though.  I went back after the dome ascent just to make sure.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd March 2013

Nestlé Professional Food Road Show 2013