MasterChef finalists Billy Wright and Jack Layer joined MasterChef: The Professionals finalist and BaxterStorey project chef Michelle Trusselle, as well as suppliers earlier this month, to host a creative masterclass for BaxterStorey chefs at The Canteen, teaching the company’s chefs how to create two of the most exciting dishes from the duo’s popular supper club.
The masterclass was organised to inspire and motivate BaxterStorey chefs, in a session including demonstrations from the guest chefs and producers, who shared ideas on styling dishes and best utilising sustainable and seasonal ingredients.
Adventurous, down-to-earth cooks with a love of great food, Billy Wright and Jack Layer met on BBC One’s MasterChef in 2016. They tempted viewers across the nation with their playful, quirky takes on classic British dishes, including posh cheesy chips and coriander cheesecake.
At the BaxterStorey masterclass Billy and Jack cooked up two of their signature dishes, posh ‘cheesy chips’, inspired by Jack’s childhood holidays to Cornwall – compiled of layers of fondant potato topped with mature Cheddar cheese foam, wild harvest camolina seeds, a Cheddar tuile, charred tomatoes and burnt onion powder. This was followed by naked barley and wild garlic mushroom ragu, topped with a king oyster, black garlic pickled walnut emulsion, olive oil and thyme breadcrumbs and chive oil.
BaxterStorey project chef and 2018 MasterChef: The Professionals semi-finalist Michelle Trusselle also shared her culinary wisdom, giving chefs a taste of Caribbean fine dining. She cooked up a feast of classic Caribbean spiced chicken, sweet corn puree, rum glaze, sweet potato fondant, chicken thigh croquette and scotch bonnet mayo.
Alongside the masterclass sessions, local suppliers were also invited to talk to the BaxterStorey chefs. Amongst the speakers were London-based Henson Meats, who showcased their most popular cuts of meat, including Jacobs ladder, crème de boeuf and pork collar steaks. Fine food specialist Wild Harvest gave chefs a taste of plant-based ingredients, including olive green lentils, smoked quinoa and heather cut comb honey.
Joe Dunster, BaxterStorey sous chef said: “The masterclass was fantastic; it was great to meet Billy and Jack and listen to them share their passion about this industry. I enjoyed meeting the supplier Wild Harvest and will soon be placing an order for some of their delicious grains and seeds they had on offer. Jack and Billy were an inspiration and one thing they taught me was not to be afraid of new challenges and embrace change.”
Esther Smith, BaxterStorey commis chef said: “To hear from Billy, Jack and Michelle about their experiences on MasterChef was really inspiring for me as a young chef. They spoke about the importance of focussing on your strengths and what you are most passionate about. I loved tasting the chef’s dishes, especially the posh cheesy chips!”
Billy and Jack said: “We had a great afternoon with BaxterStorey, meeting such passionate chefs and having great discussion about food! It was lovely to meet some great suppliers too”.