WBC has a long-standing relationship with Vhari Russell, The Food Marketing Expert. When asked if we’d be interested in contributing a small informal talk at their first London Grub Club Cambridge event, we were delighted to accept!
The event showcased expert talks from retail food producers and manufacturers with delectable tasters during the course of the evening. The night also included a crash course from The Guild’s Cheese Masterclass lead by Patrick McGuigan & Jilly Sitch. Held at The Guild of Fine Foods HQ at Borough Market – we were at the epicentre for the London food scene!
We met some fantastic retailers, some of who we’ve known for years and others who were just starting out.
We were greeted with a delicious watermelon G&T made by Two Birds Spirits and a non-alcoholic Nik & Kix drink covering off the needs of both drinkers and non-drinkers. Followed by a blind olive tasting and a walk-through the wines provided by Vine & Cork. Andrea and his partner told the story of where their wine comes from, adding a story of tradition to the wines tasted during the evening.
TEMPUS FOODS CHARCUTERIE
Dhruv, a winner of Masterchef 2010, created Tempus foods in 2014 in collaboration with his business partner Tom Whitaker. He held a fabulous talk introducing the platter he so generously created for the evening for each table.
Initially trained in Italy, both Dhruv and Tom were traditionally and classically trained. Dhruv explained why they choose a specific breeding stock and age of the animal to make their meats so special. Their chosen breeding stock makes beautifully aged beef for charcuterie, where the flavour and texture only work when the cow is older.
He recommended us to start working through the platter with the pancetta, which is made from the belly of the pig and tastes like butter and work through to air-dried ham. This was to be followed by juniper and black pepper salami, aged for 10 months, and onto mortadella, his childhood favourite. A fun and simply delicious meat, it’s great in a sandwich or toastie, mixed with a classic cheddar and tomatoes it’s just delicious!
THE CHEESE CRASH COURSE
We were given an introduction to the Guild’s Level 1. cheese training. During the evening, they talked us through 4 kinds of cheese with complimentary drinks.
We started with an orange French cheese called Mimolette and worked our way anti-clockwise on the board. A semi-hard orange cheese, it’s relatively old and has a nice crumbly & snappy feel to it, and has been pressed hard to increase density and taste over time.
Our favourite, however, was the James Montgomery cheddar cheese, that had an earthy, cloth muslin flavour. Although the softness from the outside is lost as the moisture is sucked out by the muslin cloth over a 12-18 month period, however, the inside is lovely and soft with a tangy taste. Paired with Loxley Cider from Nottingham, the sweetness and tanginess of the cider went surprisingly well with the Somerset cheddar.
At WBC, we’re big fans of bread and in addition to our daily delivery from Christopher’s Bakery in Herne Hill, we often celebrate with a little extra from local bakeries. Which is why one of our highlights was the amazing bread from Ben & Ella’s bakery which we tried with all the meats and cheeses. Fresh, fluffy and incredibly tasty, their loaves are a must-have!
After all the food was eaten and wine drunk, our in-house retail expert Gerry held a talk on merchandising. Discussing the importance of stylish displays, the wow-factor and increased basket revenue – we can all agree that if it looks good, it sells better.
Which is why at the start of June in collaboration with Grub Club Cambridge, we launched a giveaway raffling off one gorgeous Matlock display set. The ideal base to display cheeses and meats on, marble is food safe, suitable for refrigerated displays and adds heaps of class to your display! Although the competition has now ended, you can get your set by visiting wbc.co.uk.