Twenty BaxterStorey chefs were invited to a culinary masterclass hosted by Michelin star chef and owner of Sorrel Restaurant, Steve Drake.
Steve demonstrated three of his favourite dishes from his menu at Sorrel, explaining the cooking techniques behind each one and talking about how his culinary journey led to his recent Michelin Star award. From spiced pumpkin praline to puffed broccoli crisps, Steve’s culinary delights included:
Pumpkin soup, smoked paprika, pumpkin seeds, spiced pumpkin praline, seaweed warmed in anchovy butter with mandarin oil.
Scottish venison, ox tongue, burnt earl grey butter, puffed broccoli crisps with bitter orange puree.
Steamed seabass, salt baked kohlrabi, lollo rosso in anchovy butter, oyster veloute with potato crisps.
The masterclass is an afternoon session for chef teams to talk culinary techniques and put questions to the top professionals. There was much chat around how best to use a sauce in a dish with Steve explaining sauces shouldn’t be used as a garnish but instead, should deliver good flavour. He said: “the complication with food should be at the start when making the stock or sauce, not when plating”.
Food trends influence what we put on our menus, and head chef Scott Dineen was there to talk about the ever-growing popularity in vegetarian options. He demonstrated a dish perfect for fine dining with caramelised cauliflower steak with carpaccio purple cauliflower and roasted cauliflower puree.
Business development chef, Andrew Aston commented on the day: “The culinary masterclasses are all about inspiring our chefs. It doesn’t matter whether they’ve got a background in hospitality, retail or fine dining, it’s all about the food. The masterclasses are a great way to inspire and motivate our chefs, as well as giving them the fantastic opportunity to meet fellow chefs in the business”.
Specialising in unique chef’s uniform, Bragard was also there with their latest range of whites and aprons for the chefs to sample, whilst Paul Goodfellow brought fresh ideas to the table as they showcased their latest trends in tableware. Fine food distributors Ritter Courivaud gave chefs a taste of their latest products including truffle paste, vegan croissants and sesame macarons.
Thomas Harding, BaxterStorey sous chef said: “I found the masterclass really inspiring, I loved the simplicity of Steve’s cooking and how by respecting the ingredients, you can create something amazing. I even stole a couple of ideas and used them in our restaurant the next day”.
Michelin star chef, Steve Drake said: “Leaving the kitchen – whilst often challenging in a busy week – is hugely rewarding when it’s time spent with a talented team of chefs, all eager to learn and explore their understanding of food, technique and creativity. It was a real pleasure, and outlet for my own creativity, to be able to chat in-depth about issues both on, and off, the plate. It was fascinating to better understand the hospitality service that BaxterStorey provides, having long admired the way in which they deliver both food, and service.
“The masterclass, training and mentoring programme that BaxterStorey has developed makes a huge contribution to the development of its team, and our industry and I was both proud and excited to be involved. I hope I’ve left the chefs with plenty to think about, as a well as a few things to practice!”