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A Valentine's cook-a-long that was far from Bland

Published on: 25 February 2021

Valentine's Day was different for us all this year, as we were at home in Lockdown. We wanted to share the love with our members and offered a free fellowship event for all to enjoy. Following on from our popular ‘How to cook the perfect steak' lesson, we were keen to get our budding chefs learning again, cooking for their loved ones. On 11th February, guest chef Dan Bland hosted a live virtual Valentine's Cook-a-long direct from his kitchen. Assistant Rachel Griffiths tells us more...

Dan works as Divisional Chef for Dalehead Foods and has extensive experience from running and working in fine dining restaurants, working for private households and competing in culinary competitions gaining best in show gold at Salon Culinaire. 

Dan devised a bespoke, creative menu of Organic lamb racks with a wonderful warm French bean, olive, tomato and feta salad and a rich chocolate souffle to finish.  

We were joined by 29 budding sous chefs on Zoom, made up from a mixture of Liverymen and guests for the anticipated cook-along. 

Dan walked us through a step-by-step approach to cooking perfectly pink lamb, and a super light and a very chocolatey, mouth-watering souffle. He shared a number of top tips and answered questions throughout the demonstration, which ranged from ‘Can you use Tartare sauce instead of Cream of Tartar?’ to ‘How do you blanch French beans?’.

A great evening was had by all and a number of real culinary success stories among us - with what sounded like a very challenging menu to begin with. 

Not every souffle was quite as light and fluffy as we had all hoped, so there definitely remains some room for improvement from our sous chefs, but the demonstration was first class and a fabulous meal was enjoyed by everyone that cooked - or supervised another's cooking - at the end of the event.

A huge thank you to Pilgrims UK and Dalehead Foods Divisional Chef Dan Bland for an excellent and entertaining evening.