Professional cookery students find a passion for foraging with top chef, Martin Peacock
Professional cookery students in Folkestone were treated to the expert advice and culinary skills of local food hero and virtuoso head chef, Martin Peacock.
Martin owns the Landsgate Bistro in Rye which has received rave reviews from customers and his chef peers due to using fantastic ingredients forgaed in the area.
Level 2 Professional Cookery students tasted and discovered wild herbs and vegetables and Martin explained how free, foraged ingredients are essential part of running a profitable business in a competitive industry.
All of the wild ingredients including spinach, sea purslane, mushrooms and garlic were picked just hours before the talk.
Wild horseradish, found growing at a roadside, proved a hit with sweetbreads cooked in butter. Duck hearts, previously cooked slowly in a water bath, were finished off in a pan with butter and served with a red wine reduction alongside the picked spinach.
Martin encouraged the students to taste everything and rooted the lesson in the context of good business practice. The chef was on hand to offer sage advice. He said: "Part of being involved in resturants is being exposed to money but it is a job where I am never bored and it is enjoyable and fulfilling. My advice to anyone entering the business is to know what you want to do and think about what you need to do to get there."
Harry Martin, 21, learned from the experience. He said: “I really enjoyed it and took a lot from it – combining flavours and cooking with things you would not normally use . I absolutely love being in the kitchen and would like to go all the way in my career."
Shaun Chittenden, 26, added: “I have worked in kitchens before but I realised I needed my qualifications. The foraging talk was interesting and it's amazing to know how easy it is to gather ingredients. I have also learned so much on my placement - the head chef is so knowledgable."
Head of Catering, Mark Clement, said: “Having a chef come in with the calibre and integrity of Martin of the Landgate, to demonstrate and interact so effectively with our students was a real pleasure. I was proud of how my learners absorbed the information and were willing to participate fully in the demonstration."
Who would have believed that so much produce around us can be foraged so easily and with such interesting flavours – the students had a great business lesson, as well as an immersive experience in the wonderful local tastes and flavours from a well-respected chef in industry.’
“We look forward to the return of the Landgate Bistro and appreciate the time that Chef Martin took out of his busy day – six of our learners have now booked an all - day work experience session in his kitchen.”
If you’d like opportunities to develop skills like these student chefs, take a look at our Folkestone campus Professional Catering courses.