Chefs at Sussex vineyard celebrate county’s produce

Chefs in action at the Chefs' Forum event at Nyetimber Vineyard in West Chiltington - picture submitted
Chefs in action at the Chefs' Forum event at Nyetimber Vineyard in West Chiltington - picture submitted

Top chefs and suppliers from around the country came together at a West Sussex vineyard last month for a special meeting of The Chefs’ Forum.

Nyetimber is served as the official welcome drink at all Chefs’ Forum events, so this event was organised to tell the story from vineyard to bottle of this pioneering English Sparkling Wine.

Hospitality industry professionals gathered at the vineyard in West Chiltington to find out more about how the prestigious producer makes their wine.

It was a rare opportunity to see the stunning estate, which is only rarely open to the public.

It began with a chance to sample Nyetimber along with canapés prepared by Steven Edwards, 2013 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals and co-owner of Etch, with help from students from the HIT Training Academy.

Following the reception Steven gave a demonstration of a dish of cod with asparagus and peas which was paired with a Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs, and a lemon cake paired with Nyetimber’s DemiSec.

He said: “I am really proud to be doing this event. What I think is great about things like this is that it is inspiring that next generation.”

During his demonstration he used many locally sourced products, and spoke about his passion for Sussex.

“I want to showcase Sussex,” he said. “I don’t think there is a chef really championing Sussex at the moment and I would like to be that chef. Eighty per cent of the produce I use comes from Sussex. When I look out the window, it’s just perfection and I want the food to reflect that.”

Guests were also given the chance to take part in a tasting of a 2010 Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, a 2007 Classic Cuvee and a 2009 Rosé, had a tour of the vineyards.

Neil Irvine from Nyetimber said: “Nyetimber was the first producer of English sparkling wine to exclusively grow the three celebrated Champagne grape varieties in this country. Nyetimber uses only its own grapes from its own vineyards, with each parcel being treated uniquely, from picking to gentle pressing to vinification in separate tanks. This uncompromising attention to detail has now become synonymous with our wines.”

Chefs’ Forum events are designed to enhance knowledge of chefs and Front of House professionals in industry whilst inspiring the next generation of hospitality professionals.

This rare opportunity to learn about the provenance of the UK’s leading sparkling wine did just that.

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