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Creepy crawlies on a plate near you?
Friday, 06 September 2013
SALCOMBE’S South Sands Hotel hosted a Coastal Forage led by expert Devon Forager David Harrison and Michelin-starred Chef Simon Hulstone with a surprise bug cookery demo by Peter Gorton.
Expert forager David Harrison led top chefs and catering students from South Devon College around the stunning South Sands cove, rocks and costal scrubland.
As the various edible plants and weeds were discovered, chef Simon Hulstone showed fellow chefs the best way to incorporate the haul of sea plantain, wild carrot and mallow into their restaurant menus.
‘Sea Plantain is fabulous in risotto, this important thing is not to over-cook it so add it near the end of cooking time.
‘Rock Samphire is great as a cooked herb on top of roasted fish’ says Simon Hulstone, Chef Patron at The Elephant, Torquay.
Rock Samphire, Sea Beet and Ivy Leaf Toad Flax all grow in abundance in and around South Sands Beach - Now Chefs' Forum Member Chefs and students from South Devon College know exactly how to identify and cook with these fabulous wild, free ingredients .
David also warned the group against mistaking similar looking species like confusing deadly hemlock for harmless chervil.
Peter Gorton then performed an impressive bug cookery demo of Thai-style meal worm risotto with a good helping of personality and humour, then garnished with samphire.
Peter Gorton recently held a 'bug night' at his Devon restaurant 'Gorton's of Tavistock'. The critters went down a storm at a sell-out evening and they proved equally popular with Chefs' Forum Members at this week’s event, Peter said:
‘In a few years time, bugs will be far more mainstream. Other cultures eat them as a staple as they are an incredible source of protein.
‘You have to compare it to sushi 20 years ago. People said they wouldn't take it, but look at it now.
‘You see it in a lot of restaurants and supermarkets, so who's to say bugs can't be the next superfood?’
Chefs munched on meal worms, crunched crickets and lunched on locusts in the great tasting risotto cooked in the demo to around 50 top Devon food heroes.
Chefs also enjoyed a delicious barbeque cooked by head chef Stuart Downie of South Sands Hotel showcasing local fish and meat, then tutored coffee tasting by Owen's Coffee, Modbury.
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In the wake of damage to the main railway line at Dawlish, should the Government look at possible alternative rail routes into Devon and Cornwall?