June has been a busy month for the Kitchen by Liquid team, but we’ve been up to something a little bit different…

This month, we’ve been venturing out of the kitchen to share our expertise, as well as develop our knowledge of trends in the industry  – both locally and globally! Our travels have seen us attend The British Culinary Federation (BCF) Chef of the Year Gala Dinner at University College Birmingham, as well as travelling to Paris for a press event.

Read on to find out how they went!

BCF Chef of the Year Gala Dinner

On 12th June, the team attended the 18th BCF Chef of the Year Awards Dinner, which took place at University College Birmingham. The awards recognise talented chefs for their excellent skills and innovative dishes, and the 2023 ceremony was attended by over 90 guests.

This year, we saw Kevin Buck, Sous Chef at Hide restaurant in London, crowned the Chef of the Year 2023. Kevin was recognised for his three-course meal which was created in two hours, featuring:

  • Orkney Scallop with White Radish and Shiso Blossom
  • Grass-Fed Irish Flat Iron Steak, Asparagus, Morels, Lovage, Beef-Fat Brioche, Red Wine Sauce
  • Canadian Maple Butter Tart, Candied Pecans, Sour Cream Ice Cream

Based on Kevin’s winning dishes, it’s clear that using seasonal ingredients continues to be a priority for chefs, with both asparagus and white radish having early summer harvests in the UK.

What’s more, affordable yet high-quality cuts of meat, such as flat iron, appear to still be popular as chefs battle with the rising costs of ingredients and utilities, yet still strive to provide the highest quality dishes.

A tasty trip to Paris

On 28th June, our development chef, Olivier, travelled to his home country of France to attend a Sweetpotato press event in Paris. During his trip, Olivier was tasked with promoting Sweetpotatoes and showcasing the versatility of the ingredient, introducing people to new and innovative ways to enjoy them.

The event began at 12pm and saw lots of different brands showcasing their products to journalists and influencers, with Olivier’s stand placed right at the entrance for all to see. Here, he offered people some of his homemade treats including Sweetpotato blini with cream cheese and smoked salmon, marshmallows topped with Sweetpotato icing and a Sweetpotato cocktail.

Olivier’s key takeaway from the event was that Sweetpotato is currently not a popular ingredient in France, for a number of reasons. One of these is that French chefs aren’t aware how versatile it is or how to cook with it, with feedback showing that it is mainly used for fries and baby food.

Another potential reason is that, unlike British consumers, French consumers are not overly adventurous with trying new things. Many were shocked at the prospect of a cocktail made from Sweetpotato, however were much more open to using the ingredient once they’d had a taste!

Olivier’s trip was then finished off with a bit of market research in the French shops and supermarkets, looking at whether they stocked Sweetpotatoes and, if so, what the country of origin was.

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