The 20 chefs chosen to demonstrate at this year’s Restaurant Show will no doubt have a tough job next week as they prepare dishes under the critical gaze of those who work in the same industry.
But spare a thought for Indian chef Cyrus Todiwala who is one of just two of those 20 chefs who will be feeding them too.
A spin off of Todiwala’s restaurant Caf? Spice Namast? will be on-site, along with Pascal Proyart’s One-O-One, giving visitors the chance to take some time out to relax between catching up with suppliers and getting top industry tips over some quality food.
It is the first time on-site restaurants have made an appearance at the show and despite his 15 years experience of working in the UK restaurant industry and excitement about the task in hand, Todiwala understandably cannot help but be a little apprehensive.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to feed our peers, our colleagues, but I’m nervous because I don’t know what I’m heading into. I’ll just be guessing what it will be like,” he said.
Todiwala is confident about the quality of the produce he’ll be using to cook with at the show next week, however.
A strong advocate of British produce, the chef has contacted his suppliers from all corners of the nation to provide ingredients for his menu, such as Cornish albacore tuna, cheese from the Orkneys and British pork - to support the British pig farmers he feels are experiencing tough times.
He added: “One of my suppliers is a local farmer who will be just giving me what he has that day. He’ll leave a box outside my door at 3am and whatever is in it, I’ll use that day. It will be a challenge, but one I am looking forward to.”
Todiwala, who has been demonstrating at the Restaurant Show for the past 12 years, said he was pleased that this year`s show has a strong focus on Asian cuisine. Benares and Vatika owner and chef Atul Kochhar will also be demonstrating at the show.
Todiwala said:†"Asian food is very much part and parcel of British culture and food today. A greater focus will †give professionals the chance to learn more about the styles and cross over of cultures and will give chefs the chance to expose their skills to a wider discerning audience."
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