The Staff Canteen Live 2017 networking lunch at Jonathan MacDonald's Ox and Finch in Glasgow

The Staff Canteen

This month we took The Staff Canteen Live 2017 networking lunch back to Scotland as Jonathan MacDonald hosted our chefs and sponsors at his Glasgow restaurant Ox and Finch.

We were joined by 13 Scottish chefs and five of our sponsors at one of the city’s most popular eateries which provided us with an extensive menu of canapes and ten dishes from the menu.

The chefs in attendance were: Neil Thompson, Federation of Chefs Scotland; Graeme Cheevers, head chef at Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond; Craig Millar, chef and co-owner, 16 West End; Jonny Cook, The Chop House, Leith; Garry Watson, Gordon’s Restaurant; Rory Lovie, Bridgeview Station; Peter McKenna, The Ganett, head chef and co-owner; Scott Wood, sous chef, Glasgow Science Centre; Willie McCurrach, Curriculum Head for Food Faculty of Leisure and Lifestyle, City of Glasgow College; Darren Smith, head chef, Argyle House Ibrox Stadium; Rikki Preston, head chef, The Honours, Edinburgh; Calum Montgomery, head chef, Kinloch Lodge and John Mcmahon, executive chef at Prestonfield House.


sea trout, tiger milk apple and pickled shallot
smoked ham hock and cheddar croquettes
dry-aged beef carpaccio, pecorino, pine nuts and truffle dwarf peaches
champagne, pommery, royal, brut, france

crab, avocado, pomelo and chilli

rabbit rillettes, prunes, laphroaig and potato salad

charred asparagus, coffee cured beef and hazelnuts
with palacio de fefinanes albarino, rias baixas, spain

seared scallops, wild garlic and morcilla

poached hake, smoked red pepper, and cajun spice
with villa wolf pinot gris, pflaz, germany

roast beetroot, whipped feta, pecans, mint and orange blossom

confit hogget shoulder, ptitim, tahini yoghurt and rose harissa

flat iron steak, shiitake mushrooms, celeriac and potato rosti
(Using Nestle CHEF Veal Stock)
with villa wolf pinot noir, pflaz, germany

stilton, black fig, honeycomb and granola
with kernel mosaic vic secret, london, uk

pineapple carpaccio, coconut ice cream, tarragon and lime
with sauternes schroder and schyler, bordeaux, france

Birchall tea and coffee

As with all of our networking lunches guests enjoyed a glass (or two) of Pommery Champagne and canapes, including sea trout provided by Seafood from Scotland with tiger milk, apple and pickled shallot.

Ox and Finch

The open kitchen became the focus as chef and owner of Ox and Finch, Jonathan MacDonald introduced his team and answered any questions chefs and sponsors had. The style of food at Ox and Finch is sharing dishes and there were ten courses on offer.

Each course was introduced and paired with wine; they included poached hake from Seafood from Scotland with smoked red pepper, and cajun spice; flat iron steak, shiitake mushrooms, celeriac and potato rosti (Using Nestle CHEF Veal Stock) and finally a selection of Birchall teas.

kitchen ox and finch
Jonathan MacDonald from Ox and Finch

Craig Millar, chef and co-owner, 16 West End was happy to get out of the kitchen for the day and said: “It’s a fantastic idea. It allows us to meet new suppliers and meet up with colleagues in a relaxed environment. We get very few opportunities throughout the year to meet with fellow professionals and it’s my third visit to Ox and finch which just keeps getting better and better.”

Robert Barzda from Santa Maria explained: “We think the Scottish chefs are so used to great produce that they are very open to new products like Santa Maria Tellicherry pepper and how it could help to develop their business. The networking lunches are very social so chefs are more inclined to talk and I’d recommend them to other suppliers.”

crab, avocado, pomelo and chilli

crab, avocado, pomelo

and chilli

Claire Dean from Seafood from Scotland was impressed with the dishes Ox and Finch provided using the Seafood from Scotland products. She said: “For us these lunches are about forming relationship with chefs which we can then build on going forward; I think it’s important to point out that I could never have got this group of chefs together myself. It’s impressive that The Staff Canteen have the ability to do that.”

She added: “We love the fact that we could offer as much or as little of our seafood as we wanted within the menu. We went all in today and said to the chef he can use whichever products he wants and as much of it as he wants as long as it’s Scottish. It’s great to see it being used in a way it would normally be used on the Ox and Finch menu, it really lets the product shine for itself.”

Our main sponsor at this event was Nestle CHEF and they supplied the veal stock for the flat iron steak dish, speaking about the lunch Nestle CHEF consultant, Andrej Prokes said: “It’s a great collaboration and all the chefs are very engaged, the chefs here are very open minded about the products and they listen to what you have to say.”

The Ox and Finch created a great laid back atmosphere and allowed the chefs and suppliers to interact freely throughout the meal, Garry Watson from Gordon’s Restaurant said: “I’ve had a fabulous day and it’s great to get out with chefs and enjoy some fantastic food. It’s absolutely worth the effort for any chef to spend their day off at one of these lunches.”

The lunch was sponsored by Birchall Tea, Nestle CHEF, Charvet, Santa Maria, Pommery, Seafood from Scotland and Beacon Design.

Next month The Staff Canteen Live networking lunch will be held at Adam Reid at The French on April 10.

>>> Register for the next TSCLive Networking Lunch here!

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th March 2017

The Staff Canteen Live 2017 networking lunch at Jonathan MacDonald's Ox and Finch in Glasgow