The Staff Canteen Live 2019 Networking Lunch at Salt

The  Staff Canteen

We went to Michelin-starred Salt in Stratford-Upon-Avon for the May 2019 TSCLive Networking Lunch yesterday.

Chefs from the Midlands' best restaurants came to Paul Foster's Michelin-starred restaurant for our latest networking lunch on Thursday, May 16th. 

Upon arrival, attendees were treated to amuse-bouches,  followed by a six-course tasting menu cooked by head chef Paul Foster and his brigade. All ingredients were supplied by the event sponsors. 

Menu

Selection of canapés

Seafood from Norway salt cod croquettes Poached Jersey royals, lovage, bacon Potato waffle and truffle goat's curd

Gusborne Blancs de Blancs,  Kent, England

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English Asparagus, hazelnut butter, salt pig salami

 Citari Conchiglia, Lugana, Italy

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Carrot cooked in chicken fat, crispy chicken skin, pickled carrot, Koppert Cress Yka leaves 

Gewurztraminer, Philippe Gocker, Alsace, France 

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Seafood from Norway cured Norwegian Fjord Trout, raw pea, rhubarb, Koppert Cress salty fingers and oyster leaves

Albariño, Davila O Rosal

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Udale rack of spring lamb, kofta, yoghurt, Roscoff onion

Côtes du Rhône AOC, Domaine de l'Olivier, France

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Baked chocolate délice, Kalamansi lime and miso caramel, peanut parfait, Les Vergers Boiron purees

Pineau des Charentes, Groussin

Chefs 

Attending were chef Chris Floate; The Encore and Mitchells and Butlers chef Paul Harris; NCOTY 2019 and head chef at The Feathered Nest Inn Kuba Winkowski; Mikey Chambers, head chef at The Cosy Club; Tom Shepherd, head chef at Adams Restaurant; Dave White, head chef at The Forest Hotel in Solihull; Karim Maoui, head chef at The Royal Oak in Tickhill; John Hardwick, director of food for Daylseford; The Wilderness head chef Stu Deeley; chef director of Tailors Restaurant Dan Cavell; Entouraj head chef Sudha Saha; chef owner of Opheem, Aktar Islam; and Whistlers, Chipping Norton head chef David Hall. 

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Sponsors

The event's headline sponsor was Seafood from Norway. It was also supported by Koppert Cress, Les Vergers-Boiron, Chef  Works and Udale, all of whom contributed ingredients to the menu cooked by chef Paul Foster. 

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Shelley Sofier, managing director of Red Kite PR, representing Les Vergers-Boiron at today's event, said she thought today's event was "terrific." 

"I think more to the point, chefs thought it was terrific. An awful lot of people are saying to me that they crave this sort of networking opportunity because they don't get to see other chefs very regularly and they're also happy to talk to the suppliers. The engagement level has been really good." 

"Having the credibility of a platform like The Staff Canteen attracts a better quality of chef than you would normally meet. And they can feel that it's not a selling environment, it's a networking event and that's actually really important."

"Generally, in a more sales-focused environment, it's difficult to capture people's attention and I think rather than cold-calling this is an opportunity to exchange with them. It's more important to find out what they want than impress them with what you supply." 

David Hall, head chef at Whistlers in Chipping Norton, said he loved the event. "I was fortunate enough to sit with Aktar Islam which for me was an opportunity I wouldn't have had normally and I had a fantastic lunch, saw some uses of ingredients that I wouldn't normally do and that are actually really interesting." 

He said that meeting suppliers in this environment meant that he could "see and taste ingredients, talk to [suppliers] about the journey they've had." 

"I'm a visual person. It's going to stick in my mind a lot better."

Dan Cavell, chef director of Tailors restaurant in Warwick, said: "It was really well organised, the turn out was good." 

"Most chefs are really busy, so to have the opportunity to sit down and talk about products, to sample them at the lunch is a really good thing to see what chefs are using. I hate being cold called. To do this is so much better."

Representing the headline sponsor, Seafood from Norway, UK Director Hans Asmyhr, said: "It was a great event at a great restaurant. It's important for us to network with chefs most of all to learn who they are, how they work, what's on the food scene right now and for me especially how they like to work with seafood." 

"I learn a lot from these events, meeting excellent chefs all over the country." 

"I'm not aware of anything else like it on the market right now so this is quite special.

To have time to sit down for two or three hours with very good chefs is a privilege because chefs have little time. We meet a lot of chefs but they're busy so to get the chance to sit down with them and chat and relax is an excellent opportunity." 

networking lunch logos

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th May 2019

The Staff Canteen Live 2019 Networking Lunch at Salt