Members of Dorset Food & Drink joined us at Bere Farm last night for their second Networking Event. Bringing together Dorset-based producers, cafe owners and restaurateurs, the event gave people a chance to meet fellow members, ask each other questions and also featured a ‘Show & Tell’ session for everyone to share a story about their business.
Getting the evening started
The evening started with a warm welcome from Katharine Wright of Dorset Food & Drink and Luke Stuart of White Pepper.
Luke kicked off the ‘Show & Tell’ with the recent launch of White Pepper’s Professional Culinary Qualifications. Students are now enrolling for the 3 and 4-week courses which start this September. This 3 or 4-week full time course is designed for budding chefs, food business owners, career changers to gain a nationally recognised qualification at the same time. We also run a Gap Year & University Cookery Course for students looking to develop essential life skills in cooking.
Lots of tasty Dorset goodies
There were plenty of refreshments and home-made macarons during the evening. The members also came armed with lots of goodies, from marshmallows and nougat to olives and pork pies!
“Show & Tell” time
The evening was very relaxed and informal, and we heard from the following members in the “Show & Tell” session, with lots of inspiring stories:
The Dorset Pie Company
The Dorset Pie Company make a selection of handmade pies (they brought along some very tasty ones in the picture), using carefully sourced ingredients from local producers where possible. Gemma told us all about their new pork pie which has a hand crimped hot crust pastry. They were delicious!
Lower Chapel Marsh Farm
Lower Chapel Marsh Farm is a small sustainable conservation orientated farm in Dorset (West Dorset and Beaminster). They produce Freedom Food-accredited veal, lamb, hogget and mutton. Lis told us how they are looking to supply new goodies such as sausages, burgers and so on. They have their own pigs and chickens to supply the raw materials.
Find Lower Chapel Marsh Farm on Twitter.
Miss Marshmellow Confectionary Ltd
Miss Marshmellow make gourmet marshmallows with no artificial flavours and only real fruit puree, vanilla paste, lemon zest and juice. They are marshmallows but mellower! They also make a variety of award-winning Dorset Nougats, all made with Dorset honey.
Jackie and Gavin shared a great ‘Show & Tell’ about their nougat. They went to Provence for their honeymoon and loved the Montelimor Nougat so much that they wanted to make something similar. During their research and development phase they made some delicious marshmallows (which they call marshmellows for obvious reasons) and started by selling these. About 18 months ago Gavin made their first successful nougat and now their range has more than 10 varieties and is growing! They use local ingredients wherever possible, for example the soft fruit, honey and free-range eggs.
Olives Et Al
Emily from Olives Et Al brought along a great selection of olives and snacks for everybody to try. They stock a wide range of olives, snacks, deli products and dressings for catering and retail customers. They are the original British olive artisans.
Jurassic Spring bottle water at source from the Jurassic Coast. James shared a great story about how he grew up next to the River Wey in Weymouth, and later returned from London to set up Jurassic Spring! The still and sparkling water that James brought along went down very well at White Pepper, what a great Dorset business.
Veggie Patch Food
Gemma from Dark Matters told us how the business started from a passion for chocolate and a desire to create the ultimate brownie. Dark Matters use a higher quantity of 75% dark chocolate in their brownies than sugar, providing customers with a chocolate fix, not a sugar hangover. The brownies that Gemma brought along were very chocolately indeed, and went down very well with the members.
The Dorset Game Larder specialise in wild game and wild game products, from local Dorset shoots as well as their own. Started in 2007 on their own farm, the business gradually grew and they now have a shop in Blandford called The Dorset Larder.
Find The Dorset Larder on Twitter.
Eight Arch Brewing Co.
The Eight Arch Brewing Company is named after the eight arches at Julian’s Bridge in Wimborne where the company is based. They use only the best malt, hops and yeast to make their beers. They have launched their first beers, Bowstring Bitter (3.8% abv) and Parabolic Pale (4.5% abv) with more to follow.
Find Eight Arch on Twitter.
Andrew James Catering Solutions
Providing bespoke fine dining catering for parties, dinners, weddings and celebrations, Andrew told us how he uses the best of locally produced fayre and produce to create bespoke menus and quality local ingredients.
Find out more on his website.
Here were some other great pictures from the evening:
Find out more about Dorset Food & Drink
Dorset Food & Drink is a member-based organisation which represents Dorset’s food and drink community. The organisation welcomes every business with its roots in Dorset that grows, makes, brings significant added-value to, sells, serves or supports Dorset food and drink.
On the Dorset Food & Drink website you can find news, upcoming events, a local food & drink directory and other great suggestions to support the vibrant and growing food and drink community across Dorset. To find out more about becoming a member of Dorset Food & Drink contact Katharine Wright on 01305 228239 or email [email protected].
Find out more about White Pepper
To find out more about White Pepper cookery courses, browse our weekend, weekday and evening courses. Alternatively, visit our Chef Academy for details of our 3 and 4-week professional culinary qualifications. To find out more about White Pepper call the team on 01202 280050. Happy Cooking!
Looking for more great events in Dorset? Why not come to one of our demonstration nights? It’s a very sociable evening with tastings, canapes, drinks, cooking demonstrations and a raffle! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated or sign up to our newsletter (head to the top of the website to sign up).