Chop’d Season Launch at Forman’s Smokehouse.
Feature by Lisa Hooper:
Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to sample Chop’d new Spring menu in the surroundings of H. Forman & Son’s Smokehouse. The theme of the event: “Why quality, locally sourced, seasonal produce can and should be the future for food retailers and why provenance shouldn’t just be a buzzword”. This theme begun with the English sparkling wine we were served upon arrival (which was certainly good enough to rival anything produced across the Channel) and continued to be demonstrated in the delicious but very locally sourced produce we were served throughout the evening.
The event was hosted by Forman’s, not only because of their stunning premises overlooking the Olympic stadium, but because they supply Chop’d with their salmon and chicken. Lance Forman explained that the company’s ethos has always been the exceptional quality and freshness of their product. This cannot be obtained by importing their salmon from the fish farms of Norway, because then the best part of the fish’s shelf life would be spent in transit. Instead, they do as they have done since the company was formed in 1905, and use only Scottish salmon. The salmon is then smoked in their East End premises using a tried and tested formula which results in a delicacy which actually tastes of nothing but the salmon itself. Clearly, and quite rightly, very proud of their product, we were given a demonstration of how they do all the trimming, pin-boning and carving by hand. A true art!
Forman were not the only supplier to Chop’d present at the event. Both their vegetable supplier and the producer of their tofu are London based businesses and were on hand to answer any questions. Chop’d feel that by using such local suppliers they know exactly where their produce comes from and are entirely confident that they are offering their customers the freshest and most ethically produced ingredients. They certainly had no worries during the horse meat scandal!
Finally we got to the best part of the evening, which was sampling the new Chop’d menu. The emphasis is certainly on flavour combinations and how to bring out the best of all this wonderfully sourced produce.
The Tofu Salad blended the creamy tofu with the strong flavours of basil, coriander and mint and the inclusion of some fiery red chilli and tasty cashew nuts gave it a real Asian theme.
For more traditionalists there was the Pea, Gammon, Mint and Wild Garlic Salad. The ham had been hand pulled and was placed onto a bed of mixed salad leaves with peas which had evidently just been shucked from their shells. The addition of feta and mint gave it another taste dimension. Delicious!
The Salmon, Sesame and Orange Salad contained thick slices of marinated salmon that retained a firm texture and wonderful flavour.
However, my favourite was the Crayfish and Samphire Salad. A very posh seafood cocktail coupled with Jersey royal potatoes, tarragon, beetroot and the addition of the very trendy samphire (sourced from the Norfolk coast). A seafood lovers dream!
Visit the Chopd website for details of their locations, core values and menus
To learn more about H.Forman, including their stunning premises which are available to hire, visit the Formans website