Young Chefs Education Initiative

The League of Club Chefs was formed in 1988 to support and encourage Chefs however small or large their establishments.

 This initiative will raise funds for the education of young chefs, to enable them to benefit from visits to quality suppliers throughout the country. They will learn about the provenance of ingredients supplied to London Clubs and receive specialist training in preparation, which will in turn help preserve standards and food traditions throughout clubland.

On Monday 11th March 2013, four Head Chefs from London Clubland, with the help of their young protégées, prepared a five-course dinner featuring signature dishes from each of their clubs. The dinner was held at The Garrick Club.

The Chefs and Menu from the Evening

Paul Hodson of The Caledonian Club

Caledonian Club Haggis with Bowmore 15 year Darkest Whiskey

Stephen Carter of Boodles

Lobster and Sole Quenelle Nantaise

Clive Howe of The Garrick Club

Fillet of Scottish Beef with Oxtail and Spring Vegetable Broth

Martin Green of Whites

Montgomery Cheddar Cheese soufflé & Truffle Brie with Crispy Walnut Bread

Christopher Watts of The RAF Club

Selection of Oriental Desserts

Educational trips

From the money raised on the night of the dinner the League of Club Chefs has arranged for four educational trips to be held during the course of this year.

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The first trip was to

Channel Fisheries of Brixham, Holders of the Royal Warrant

This was a 2 day trip which started on Thursday April 25th and ended on Friday 26th.

The young chefs met at Paddington Station and were accompanied to Brixham by Don Irwin, President of The LOCC.

They were met in Totnes by Martin Purnell of Channel Fisheries and taken to the Smugglers Haunt Hotel in Brixham where they would spend the night. At 8.00pm Martin took the group on a tour of Brixham Harbour, Britain’s largest fishing port, where they witnessed trawlers arriving from their fishing trips. The rest of the evening was free but an early night was called for as it was a very early start in the morning.

At 5.30am the group arrived at Brixham Harbour Fish Market, where they had a tour of the market and also around one of the fleets fishing trawlers. After this they witnessed the daily fish auction.

After breakfast at The Smugglers Haunt it was off to to visit Channel Fisheries new production unit for a tour and to watch  the preparation of the fish that had been bought at that mornings auction.

Lunch was at The Rockfish Restaurant in Dartmouth which is owned by Chef and restauranteur Mitch Tonks who is a leading authority on fish and its preparation. Mitch is also the author of numerous books and is highly respected for his support of the fishing industry and his passion for fish.

Then after lunch it was back on the train to London.

The second arranged trip was to

H. Foreman & Sons, Stour Road, Fish Island, London E3 2NT

The young chefs were accompanied by Mark Thatcher, Head Chef of The House of Lords. They arrived at Foreman’s at 9.00am for coffee and refreshments.

Lance Forman then gave a talk on history of salmon smoking and the Foreman’s family business, which has been established for over 100 years. A tour of the factory followed with all areas of the business being covered. Then there was a smoked salmon carving demonstration by Darren Matson who is the Guinness World record holder for pin boning and carving a side of salmon. His world record time is 1 minute 11 seconds.

Salmon carving training was then given to the young chefs followed by a carving competition.

The young chefs were then given lunch so as they could taste some of the products that they had seen during their tour.

The third trip for this year was to

Aubrey Allen, Catering Butchers

On Friday 27th September the young chefs met Paul Hodson, retired ex head chef of The Caledonian Club at Euston Station to make the one hour train journey north to Coventry, to visit Aubrey Allen, Catering Butchers.

After arriving and taking refreshments the young chefs were given a presentation on the history of Aubrey Allen and also their customer service values.

This preceded a tour of the butchery unit and a demonstration on many classical and also new cuts of meat from various animals by Aubrey Allen’s master butcher.

Before lunch was served a Aubrey Allen quiz was set to test the chef’s knowledge on what they had seen and learnt from their morning.

Then after lunch it was back off to Coventry station to catch the train back to Euston.

League of Club Chefs.

The final trip of 2013 was to

Billingsgate Market and Fishmongers Hall

It was an early start for our young chefs, they met at Billingsgate market at 6.15am accompanied by Steve Carter Head Chef at Boodles. Here they met with Chris Leftwich who is the Chief Inspector of the Fishmongers Company.

They had a tour of the market where they witnessed that mornings deliveries and catches and they met with some of the oldest established Fishmongers in this historic market.

At around 8.00am they departed the market and headed off to Fishmongers Hall on the banks of the River Thames at London Bridge. Here they had a well deserved breakfast, which was followed by a tour of the hall and a talk about the Fishmongers Company.

After this they were introduced to Steve Pini, Executive chef of the Fishmongers Hall where they were given a fish preparation and cooking demonstration. Steve is the author of several books and a leading authority on fish cookery.

They all departed around midday after a very long but educational morning.

Educational visits 2014

Channel Fisheries of Brixham, Holders of the Royal Warrant

This was a 2 day trip which started on Thursday June 19th and ended on Friday June 20th.

Due to the success of 2013’s trip to Devon, the same excursion was arranged for this year.

The young chefs met at Paddington Station and were accompanied to Brixham by Don Irwin, President of The LOCC.

They were met in Totnes by Martin Purnell of Channel Fisheries and taken to the Smugglers Haunt Hotel in Brixham where they would spend the night. At 8.00pm Martin took the group on a tour of Brixham Harbour, Britain’s largest fishing port, where they witnessed trawlers arriving from their fishing trips. The rest of the evening was free but an early night was called for as it was a very early start in the morning.

At 5.30am the group arrived at Brixham Harbour Fish Market, where they had a tour of the market and also around one of the fleets fishing trawlers. After this they witnessed the daily fish auction.

After breakfast at The Smugglers Haunt it was off to to visit Channel Fisheries new production unit for a tour and to watch  the preparation of the fish that had been bought at that mornings auction.

Lunch was at The Rockfish Restaurant in Dartmouth which is owned by Chef and restauranteur Mitch Tonks who is a leading authority on fish and its preparation. Mitch is also the author of numerous books and is highly respected for his support of the fishing industry and his passion for fish.

Then after lunch it was back on the train to London.

Severn and Wye Smokery  July 23rd

 Steve Reid Head Chef of Grocers’ Hall accompanied the young chefs to Gloucestershire and the following his is report of the day.

We were all present and on time at the prearranged venue of the Statue of Brunel, although Isambard had been reduced to more of a plinth with plastic barriers in place around him. How the mighty are fallen!!
We were collected by Dai Francis and colleagues, first stopping at the Glass Eel processing plant then on to the main production, shop and restaurant.
Richard Cooke gave us a passionate talk on S and W then the wellies, coats and hats were put on for the tour. Extremely interesting it was too with a very obvious efficient system in place.
Back up for a tasting of smoked salmon, eel and g/lax.
Then back to the shop floor for a hands on demo of carving smoked salmon and a whole smoked eel each to skin and fillet.
Then the groups swapped and we did wet fish, herrings , mackerel , sardines butterfly and filleting.
Good skills to practice for all and everyone took part.
Washed and back into civvies for plates of filled rolls washed down with local cider and beer.
All the young chefs enjoyed themselves and were a credit not only to their own establishments but the LCC too.
Special mention to Dai, Kerry, Dave and Clive.