The Staff Canteen Live Networking Lunch in association with Santa Maria at The Elephant Restaurant

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd July 2018

Yesterday, we were in Torquay for a special spice masterclass and lunch with Santa Maria at Simon Hulstone’s Michelin starred restaurant, The Elephant.

Chefs participated in two workshops, learning about the provenance and chemistry of herbs and spices like black pepper, cinnamon and oregano. Simon and his team served a delicious five-course meal with matching wines, showcasing Santa Maria products in each dish.

TSCLive Networking Lunch in association with Santa Maria at The Elephant Restaurant
Chefs at the Santa Maria spice masterclass

The chefs

Chefs in attendance were: Tom Williams-Hawkes, chef director, The Salutation Inn; Russell Brown, owner, Creative about Cuisine; Zibi Klapsia, head chef, The Imperial Torquay; Mark Dodson, chef owner, The Masons Arms Devon; Dez Turland, head chef, Saunton Sands; Craig Beacham, head chef, Exeter Rugby; Phil Thomas, head chef, Rosewarne Manor; Mike Barry, chef owner, The Conservatory Restaurant; Jordan Meagher, sous chef, Root; Jordan Hatfield, head chef, Pier Point Torquay; Marc Joseph, Duchy Charcuterie; Ashley Hamilton, executive chef, The Curious Kitchen, Brixham; Dan Gambles, head chef, Lympstone Manor; Fred Orme, senior chef de partie, The Driftwood Hotel; Chris Dewoody, head chef, Hamiltons and David Gillhan, head chef, The Curious Kitchen, Brixham. 

The spice masterclasses and demonstration

Chefs started the day with teas and coffees, before sitting down to their first workshop with Katlin Ambos, National Sales Manager UK for Santa Maria. Katlin started with a topic that many people are talking about at the moment: sustainability. She explained how Santa Maria are changing their packaging to reduce their use of plastics and why this is such an important step for the environment. Katlin also talked about where spices like pepper and cinnamon come from and how they are processed before reaching our kitchens. Chefs got to smell and taste different Santa Maria products and learn about where the flavours come from. 

TSCLive Networking Lunch in association with Santa Maria at The Elephant Restaurant
Chefs in the Santa Maria Spice Truck

During a short break, chefs enjoyed some biscuits made with Santa Maria cardamom, and received a quick demonstration from Sam Guarino, Herbs & Spices Sales Manager UK for Santa Maria in their unique Spice Truck. Every chef who went in the spice truck got to sign it too, leaving their mark! After the break, Katlin talked about the chemistry of herbs and spices, including one of Santa Maria’s most popular products, Tellicherry black pepper. Then guests enjoyed an Elephant gin with some Santa Maria juniper berries and a snack of salt cod croquettes, before everyone sat down to lunch.

The menu

Simon Hulstone and his team of chefs prepared a five-course meal with matching wines. Each dish featured a Santa Maria spice or herb, which Simon already uses in his kitchen. Dishes included Brixham Crab Crumpet, Tomato Jam (with nutmeg, paprika, parsley) and Fillet of Cod, Hogs Pudding, Salted Toffee Pea cream (with mustard seed and garlic pepper). 

The Menu

Elephant Gin & Tonic with apple and Juniper berries

Whipped Ricotta and summer vegetable tarts 

Sour Dough Bread , Salted Butter

Brixham Crab Crumpet, Tomato Jam
(nutmeg, paprika, parsley)
PICPOUL DE PINET 2016 Domaine Saint-Peyre, Languedoc - France

Roasted Salcombe Scallop , Parsnip Puree, Verjus

Fillet of Cod, Hogs Pudding, Salted Toffee Pea cream 
(mustard seed, Garlic pepper)
SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 Mussel Bay, Marlborough - New Zealand

Strawberry, Tellicherry, Lovage
ELYSIUM 2015 Andrew Quady, California - U.S.A.

Caramel Custard Tart , Cinnamon, Beurre Noisette 
(vanilla, cinnamon)

What the chefs and Santa Maria had to say about The Staff Canteen Live Networking Lunch at The Elephant

Ashley Hamilton, executive chef of The Curious Kitchen said: “We’ve all said between us that we probably wouldn’t have given an hour of our time to discussing black pepper! However, it turned out to be quite informative to be honest. I learnt quite a lot about the production of herbs and spices, but also how vastly different they can be too.” 

He added: “As Katlin was saying, we take that much care with our fish, meat and veg, so we should give the same attention to our herbs and spices as well.”

Roasted Salcombe Scallop, Parsnip Puree, Verjus, Dill by Simon Hulstone, The Elephant, Santa Maria, The Staff Canteen
Roasted Salcombe Scallop, Parsnip Puree, Verjus

Fred Orme, senior chef de partie, The Driftwood Hotel was also in agreement. He said: “Today has given me that next level of understanding when it comes to spices. We were able to see the difference between what our places are using at the moment and what they could be using from Santa Maria. So it’s also allowed me to think about potential menu changes. And the food was obviously delicious!”

Katlin Ambos, National Sales Manager UK for Santa Maria was also pleased with how the event went. She said: “Thanks to the team at The Staff Canteen for getting such a great group of chefs around the table. If they go away having learnt one thing today, then I can tick my box! The food today was brilliant too – he gets most of the produce from his farm and he’s been using our products for ages so it worked well.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd July 2018

The Staff Canteen Live Networking Lunch in association with Santa Maria at The Elephant Restaurant