A fantastic Christmas showcase at Sofitel St James London
Our Christmas Gourmet Fair took place on Friday 18th September 2015 at the Sofitel St James, Piccadilly with more than 30 of our partners. The room was filled with giant Christmas baubles, reindeers and Christmas trees.
The drop-in event, open to chefs, buyers and purchasing teams was divided into cuisine, pastry and retail areas, and showcased a range of new launches, seasonal products and exclusives for the festive season.
Sofitel St James’ Executive Chef, Vincent Ménager showcased a number of recipes and demonstrations using products from our portfolio, as well as tastings and opportunities to meet the actual producers.
The Cuisine Room
The key highlight from the Cuisine room was definitely the Seafood display on a beautiful ice bar with the Classic Fine Foods logo sculpted in ice. The guests had the great opportunity to taste Loch Fyne smoked salmon, Rosso Di Mazara prawns and Cinq Degres Ouest lobster.
There was a Meat corner with a huge display of different brands including Soulard duck, Txuleta Galician Blond beef, Highland Waguy Beef, Otterburn Mangalitza pork, Tuner game products and Mieral poultry. There were tasting opportunities throughout the day as well as a meat carving demonstration with Marco Peerdeman, Classic Fine Foods meat specialist.
If Christmas songs were adding to the festive ambiance, a Spanish guitarist was also there to bring a completely different atmosphere to the Spanish corner. The guests enjoyed an Iberico Ham carving session with the Master Carver from Juan Pedro Domecq, got to taste anchovies, tuna and octopus from Boncarte and discovery San Carlos’ Spanish olive oil and vinegar.
To finish, the Bridor bread corner was graced with the presence of their ambassador Frederic Lalos, Meilleur Ouvrier de France and next to it, traditional moulding with Bordier, the last of the artisan butter makers.
The Pastry Room
We had the great pleasure during the event of introducing Valrhona Double fermentation chocolate with the launch of Itakuja 55% Pure Brazil Double fermented chocolate with passion fruit and Mananka 62% Pure Madagascar Double fermented chocolate with orange. Valrhona also launched their new pistachio and pecan pralines as well as a New Christmas Spirit Chocolate Collection. Capfruit’s display included some verrines and financiers with new fruit purees: persimmon, ginger, cherrymore (cherry and cardamom) and lulo.
Decoration specialist PCB Creation launched their new Christmas Collection for 2015. This included extra white chocolate decorations, an enlarged range of fruit leathers, dried fruits in powder/spangles/chips, decorations for eclairs, and original ideas to give a new look to the Christmas log. They had a magnificent display created by Cedric Grolet who was here in person to answer any questions from the guests. Corsiglia, our specialist in candied chestnuts showcased candied citrus (lemon, orange, amarena) and chestnut products such as chestnut paste, chestnut cream and chestnut puree.
Pastry Demonstrations were a highlight of the Pastry room with Maxime Adrian, Pastry chef from Marguerite, a new brand of pastry ingredients with a focus on their ‘Croquants‘ range, available in different flavours (caramel with fleur de sel, white chocolate, red fruits, pistachio almond, speculoos, praline, lemon meringue). Chef Jean-Thomas Schneider was also here to demonstrate some of the technical products from Louis Francois.
We also had the great pleasure of welcoming Sarah Barber who signed her brand new book Patisserie Perfection for 30 lucky guests.