The Staff Canteen Live 2019 Networking Lunch at The Oxford Kitchen

The Staff Canteen

This month our networking lunch was at Paul Welburn's Michelin-starred restaurant, The Oxford Kitchen.

We were joined by top chefs from in and around the city, who were given a tour of the kitchen before tucking into a five-course tasting menu designed especially for the event.


Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2014

Snacks on arrival
Coronation chicken and rice
Cheese and pickle sandwich
Lancashire hot pot tart 


Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2015

Prawn and sesame toast


Beetroot, ticklemore, treacle yoghurt, hazelnut, scarlett cress from Koppert Cress


Gusbourne Guinievere 2017

Smoked Alaska black cod, granny smith, maple-glazed pig, octopus, apple dashi, Salicornia cress from Koppert Cress



Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2018

Merryfield Duck, confit leg 'black pudding,' blackberries



'Piña colada'


Gusbourne Product R

Douglas Fir custard, Valrhona Caraibe, 66%, spiced cranberry, iced buttermilk



Attending were Andrew Carr, head chef at White Hart Wytham; Andrew Scott, head development chef for Miele Great Britain; Phyllis Court executive chef Carl Jackman; Britten for food chef director Daniel Britten; Jamie Gibbs, head chef at The Bicycle shed; Joshua Thompson, group executive chef or Artist residence; Heckfield Place executive chef Michael Chapman; Ben Howarth, head chef at The Nut Tree Inn in Murcott; Cherwell Boathouse head chef Paul Bell; Richmond care villages head chef Ryan Priddey; Sean Ducie, head chef at Oxford Fine Dining; Chef tutor at Raymond Blanc's cookery school Simon Hartley and chef director at Tailors restaurant, Dan Cavell.



As always, the event wouldn't have been possible without our sponsors; on this occasion, cleaning specialist Zenith Hygiene was the headliner.

Also supporting the event were Koppert Cress and Alaska Seafood - both of whom supplied ingredients for the meal - Gusbourne, who paired a wine with each course, and  Chef Works.

Speaking about TSC Networking Lunches, head of business development for Diversity and Zenith Hygiene Andrew Swanson said the company supports the event because it allows it to "meet chefs that we already work with and some that we hope to work with in the future." 

The headline sponsor made the most of the lunch to tell chefs about its "Christmas cleandown competition" at the event, whereby it will create a top 10 of Christmas songs chefs love to clean down to, posting their suggestions on social media and giving out prizes to the ones with the most votes.

"We know that cleaning isn't the most glamourous side of the business, but we're launching this competition to raise awareness for cleaning and hygiene at Christmas."

Marketing representative for Alaska Seafood Alicia Parker said the company was "thrilled" with how its product was used on the menu at The Oxford Kitchen. "It was amazing and everyone loved it which is so great for us." 

While many chefs still have objections to using frozen fish, she said, "it's important to have that conversation, it's important to raise awareness and that's what we're doing at these lunches.

"This fish might be frozen but actually you could argue that because it's been frozen so quickly after coming out of the sea, that quality has been retained in the fish and it's arguably a better quality fish than if it was fresh."


Head chef at The Nut Tree, Ben Howarth said the lunch at The Oxford Kitchen was "spectacular."

"It's also been really good to meet people in the industry, talking about joint issues we've got, getting great information about suppliers and food techniques and the way the industry is moving forward." 

"Everyone seems to know everyone without actually knowing them," he said, "which is a really good thing, that solidarity and support you get through social media in our industry is really good.

"It's dead important for all the trials and tribulations that chefs go through to have that support. and you guys at The Staff Canteen offer that platform for it." 

Head chef of Cherwell boathouse Paul Bell said he made some "incredible" acquantainces at the lunch.

"We're trying to revamp the restaurant with regards to sustainability, so it's fantastic to see what products are coming out, eco-friendly cleaning products and things like that." 

He added: "The food was absolutely fantastic. Paul and his team have done a wonderful job, top notch all the way.

"What's nice at these events is that it's very easy to get stuck behind the pass all day long everyday - it's important to actually get out and see what's going on around you and meet other people who are doing a similar sort of thing." 



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th December 2019

The Staff Canteen Live 2019 Networking Lunch at The Oxford Kitchen