The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE - Day 2 Sponsored by Westlands

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th March 2017

In association with

HEADLINE SPONSOR westlands

Joining us on The Staff Canteen Live 2017 stage for day two of the International Food and Drink Exhibition 2017 was Richard Davies, Paul Ainsworth, Anna Haugh and Andrew Wong.

First, we welcomed to the stage Richard Davies, head chef at the Celtic Manor for his second appearance at The Staff Canteen Live. Richard began his career at the age of 18 and rose to prominence after a stint working for Gordon Ramsey at his three Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea. He has also starred in the 2013 BBC2’s ‘Great British Menu’ getting through to the banquet for his strawberries and cream dessert.

mushroom ravioli and butternut veloute

mushroom ravioli and butternut

veloute

Today Richard cooked a mushroom ravioli and butternut veloute.

“I think The Staff Canteen is great because all the chefs are following it,” explained Richard. “And it’s a good way to introduce younger chefs to other kitchens and other styles of food.

“These demos I think are really inspiring, we never really got the chance to go out to events like this when I was younger, I would have loved to have had the chance to come along today and watch the chefs on stage preparing different dishes to give you a bit of inspiration about where you want to work next.”

Next up was Paul Ainsworth, chef patron of Michelin-starred restaurant Paul Ainsworth at No.6. He started off the show with a raw Cornish scallop dish with kimchi style cabbage and gentleman’s relish and finished with a Cornish chap (saddle back) accompanied with Jerusalem artichokes and black truffle and Bramley gravy.

Reflecting on The Staff Canteen Live, Paul said: ‘It was fantastic, it’s always good to do these events with all the industry folk.

"I don't think you guys at The Staff Canteen know just how much of an influence you do have on the industry, it’s phenomenal.”

The show would not have been possible without the help of our headline sponsor Westlands, and Westlands growing manager, Will Boers, said: “We don't usually get to see our customers directly because we supply for distributors and wholesalers so it’s good to present any new products and it’s great to see them being used in the live demos on stage with The Staff Canteen.”

crab, avocado and basil consomme

crab, avocado and basil

consomme

He added: “Working next to the live demo is great because we attract the right audience, after they come to see the live stage they will always come over and say hello to us so we get to showcase our products.”

Anna Haugh, executive chef at Bob Bob Richard cooked a crab, avocado and basil consommé dish. Anna has previously worked in several Michelin-starred kitchens including Pied A Terre and The Square.

>>> Related: Anna Haugh, Executive Chef, Bob Bob Ricard

On Stage Anna recommend using a metal tray when cooking crab, not only to keep the crab colder but to help bring any pieces of shell to your attention. She also advised against adding any extra salt to the crab as it’s already naturally seasoned perfectly.
Speaking to Anna after the show she said: “The Staff Canteen is a fun event, especially as you are able to stand up and show people something that is usually just kept as a secret in the kitchen.”

She added: “Even if one or two people out of the crowd were inspired and went away and were brave enough to buy a live crab and cook it, it would bring so much joy to me.”

Lastly Andrew Wong took to the stage to present his har gao with sweet and sour rice vinegar foam and deep fried chicken feet dish. Andrew is the head chef and owner of ‘A-Wong’ which was awarded 3AA rosettes and when asked about how he felt about his demo, he said: “It’s always a little bit nerve racking but it’s always good to get out and meet other chefs and try and show people what we do in the restaurant, we spend 14 hours a day in our own four walls so it’s nice to see what the reaction is from an audience.”

He urged: “If I can get people interested in Chinese cuisine and get them to understand that it isn’t just about Cantonese food and takeaway food and if I can interest them in the finer parts of Chinese cuisine, I think I’ve done more than enough.”

The Staff Canteen returns tomorrow for day 3 of the International Food and Drink Exhibition.

By Rosie Drew

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th March 2017

The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE - Day 2 Sponsored by Westlands