The Staff Canteen Live 2019 Networking Lunch at The Wilderness

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th November 2019

This month we went to Alex Claridge's wilderness restaurant for our networking lunch, where we were joined by top chefs from in and around Birmingham. 

This month our chef guests and sponsors enjoyed an eight course tasting menu designed by Alex Claridge and his team especially for this bespoke event.  


Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2014


Cornish mackerel – wasabi – lovage – kalamansi puree from Les Vergers Boiron


Lamb & pork kofta – mint ketchup – crispy onions


Adult Appletiser Cognac – Apple – Late Harvest Wine – Bergamot – Cava

‘Big Mac’ Beef – cheddar custard – coal oil – gherkin ketchup – Zorri Cress from Koppert Cress


Funky Chenin, Force Majeure – South Africa

Thai Green Goosnargh Chicken


Wild Alaska Pollock from Alaska Seafood

Wild Alaska Pollock – spring onion – satay – lime foam


Touriga Nacional, Vinteloper – Australia

Dry Aged Venison from Udale

Celeriac – lovage - hazelnut


‘Milk and cookies’

** Georgas Sweet Organic Wine, Georgas Family - Greece ‘Banoffee’

Banana – miso – chocolate - pecan


Attending were Shaun Cornelius, Gas street social; Mike Bullard, Butcher street social; Nick Kain, Grand Hotel Lytham St Annes; Tim Carr, Tim Carr Catering; Matthew Walker, Patshull Park Hotel; Mark Walsh, The Forest Hotel; Sonny Wallace, Lakeside restaurant; Stewart Mackie, Harvey Nichols; Richard Bowden, ABM catering; Paul Foster, Salt; Mark Stinchcombe, Severn and Wye smokery; Jody Marsden, Stoneleigh Events; Joshua Brimmell, Wentbridge House Hotel; Craig Miles, Bidfood; Ben Taylor, Little Blackwood; Ben Ternent, Opus and Tom Shepherd, Restaurant Adams. 


Our headline sponsor was Udale Speciality Foodsand the event was also supported by  Koppert Cress,   Zenith Hygiene, Chef Works, Alaska Seafood, Les Vergers Boiron and Gusbourne.

Jason Myers from headline sponsor Udale said: "It's amazing to get chefs out of their kitchens and into a relaxed atmosphere. It's a great way to catch up with existing customers and to create new ones." 

Neil Irvine from Gusbourne said: "I'm here because I love to meet chefs. I love to meet chefs in their natural environment and who are passionate about ingredients, produce and their experiences. From what I've seen today that is exactly the type of chef who seem to be attracted to The Staff Canteen. 

"I thought today would be more 'stiff collared' and a bit more official. But it has been a really sociable and getting to know people type of event. Chefs need to feel relaxed and trust the people they are talking to so if you are stood in a circle with your pop up banner in the background they don't want to interact. But an event like today, put some great food in front of them and they are much more engaging." 

Sophie Edwards from Zenith Hygiene said: "It's been absolutely fantastic. Specifically at this event I've found there are a lot of chefs going into new ventures so it's been brilliant to build those contacts." 

What the chefs said

Speaking about the event, Tom Shepherd, head chef of Michelin-starred Adam's in Birmingham said: "Today is an opportunity to build relationships with new suppliers. But it's also important to see other chefs face to face, the Birmingham community of chefs is very strong and it always has been and hopefully it always will be." 



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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th November 2019

The Staff Canteen Live 2019 Networking Lunch at The Wilderness