The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE - Day 4 Sponsored by Westlands

The Staff Canteen

The final day of The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at the International Food and Drink Exhibition, supported by Westlands, and there were even more incredible dishes created by top chefs: James Golding, Tom Brown, Russell Bateman and Lee Westcott.

First to take the stage was James Golding, group chef director of The Pig Hotel. James previously worked at The Savoy under Chef Anton Edelmann, and at Le Caprice under Mark Hix. Upon his return to the South Coast, James found his dream job at The Pig.

He kicked things off with a taste of the seaside, cooking roasted hake, wilted sea beet, cockles and crispy lettuce weed. For a side dish, James also made a kaletts with stinging nettle salsa and hazelnuts. While some audience members were hesitant about trying the stinging nettles, James wanted to make clear that they are safe to eat and even good for you to eat!

He said: "I've always done the nettles dish because we use them a lot, we put them in pasta, we do salsa verde with it and it's one of those really great products we should be eating more of. It's good for you, it's packed with vitamin C!"
Many of James' ingredients for his dish were grown by the restaurant or foraged from the local area.

>>> Get James' recipe here


James added: "Because of the nature of our product, we grow a lot of our stuff and forage a load of our produce, it's quite important that we show the customers the reasons why we do it. It's a great opportunity for us to showcase all of this fantastic produce that we're growing and get people to try it."

On The Staff Canteen community, he said: "I think that as an industry, we're stronger as one and I think the more that people get together and show off what they're doing, it's better for education and it's getting the message out there as well as trying to get people in to the industry, I think it's a great learning opportunity and great fun.”

Next up was, Tom Brown, head chef at Nathan Outlaw's Michelin-starred restaurant, Outlaw's at The Capital. Priding themselves on serving the best fish in town, Tom was cooking turbot on the bone with oyster, asparagus and pickled celery. Tom used ingredients from his home county, Cornwall and the audience were intrigued as he served the fish with a warm oyster mayonnaise.


Tom told The Staff Canteen how he thinks The Staff Canteen Live can be inspirational to chefs and customers alike: "If people can see a dish on stage that's served in a Michelin-star restaurant, and see the process I think it is inspirational. Personally I always find it inspirational to see amazing produce, so hopefully other people will think that."

Former Great British Menu contestant and National Chef of the Year 2015 Russell Bateman was the next chef on the The Staff Canteen Live stage. Russell is head chef at Colette's at The Grove hotel and is also Chair of Examiners for the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards.

Russell chose to cook a vegetarian dish of baked Roscoff onion, Neapolitan burrrata, onion and thyme broth. When asked why he chose to demonstrate a vegetarian dish, Russell said: "More and more people are eating vegetarian, more and more people need to eat vegetarian for the sake of the planet. I guess it's kind of trendy but for me, it's kind of a necessity - we have to eat more vegetarian food. The ingredients are amazing now."

Russell also felt that The Staff Canteen Live could serve as inspiration to aspiring chefs. He said: "You can sit in the audience all day and see four really accomplished chefs cooking really beautiful food in completely different ways, with different styles and mentalities. It's a way of introducing yourself to people but also introducing people's styles and understanding that there are different styles, and you can pick which one you like."

>>> See Russell's recipe here


Closing our debut at the IFE at the ExCel London was Lee Westcott, executive chef at The Typing Room, who took to the stage with a dish of brill, wild garlic, calcots and chicken skin. Lee has worked in many Michelin-starred kitchens including The Savoy, Galvin at Windows and Tom Aiken's in Chelsea.

It was a battle of the flat fish, as one audience member had to choose if she preferred Tom Brown's turbot or Lee Westcott's brill!

>>> See Lee's recipe here


Lee said that he enjoyed the event: "It's really important. You meet people that you wouldn't sometimes normally meet in the restaurant which is a bonus for everybody, for yourself and for people watching. It's always fun to get out of the restaurant, nice to see a bit of daylight and see other chefs like Russell and Tom!"

He added: "You get to see four chefs in one day that you maybe wouldn't ever get to see in one room if you're an aspiring chef, you can come and check them all out and maybe even get to meet them. I think when I was a young chef, I would have really enjoyed that."

The Staff Canteen wishes to thank our headline sponsor Westlands, and our other sponsors Essential Cuisine. Also thanks to Wenlock Spring for providing water and to Catering Appliance and rexmartins for providing equipment on stage. Additional thanks to those who contributed to our goodie bags, Flower and White, Tigg's Dressings, HolyLama Spice Drops, Liberation Nuts and Ten Acre Premium crisps and popcorn. Finally, a huge thanks to Ian Hewitt from the Home Economist for his help during The Staff Canteen Live.

By Jenna Lloyd



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd March 2017

The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE - Day 4 Sponsored by Westlands