The City Food Lecture is an annual, invitation-only fixture in the City of London and food industry calendars. Held at the prestigious Guildhall, the event is organised by the seven city livery companies whose roots are in the food industry – namely the Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, Farmers, Fishmongers, Fruiterers and Poulters.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2015 City Food
Since its debut 14 years ago, this invitation-only event has brought together thought leaders, policymakers and captains of industry to discuss all aspects of the food that we produce and consume in the UK.
I am particularly proud to be associated with the Lecture because my own mother livery company, the Fishmongers, is among the seven responsible for it. I know how dedicated those seven companies are to achieving excellence across the entire spectrum of the provision and consumption of food — including production techniques, buying habits and marketing strategies.
The same is true for today's special guests. Our speaker is Richard Evans, President of PepsiCo West Europe and South Africa. Mr Evans first joined the company 25 years ago and has immense experience at the cutting edge of the industry.
I extend my personal thanks to Mr Evans — as I do to the entire panel, chaired this year by Margaret Mountford, chair of Argent Group Europe and former adviser to Lord Alan Sugar on the BBC's The Apprentice. The other members of the panel are Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford; Steve Rowe, executive director of food at Marks & Spencer; and Arthur Potts Dawson, sustainable restaurateur and food activist.
Thank you also to all of those who have supported the Lecture, including the seven livery companies and the City Corporation, as well as our sponsors Nestle, Fresh Produce Journal, Seasonal Berries, The Red Brick Road, Rathbones, British Cheese Board and Glasgows.
The challenge to produce fine
English fare for the City Food Lecture has again focussed the minds of the
team at The Cook and The Butler Event Company, writes Mark Grove,
company founder and current renter warden of the Worshipful Company of
For those that like fish, the mackerel has been sourced by James Knight of Mayfair using British home fishing fleet vessels. It was caught in the North Sea and will be served with mushy peas and a sauce made with English wine from Stanlake. The wine is named after the Henley Regatta, which takes place only a few miles from the vineyard, and is a blend of grape varieties including Ortega and Schonburger.
The other main course of Royal Deeside boar was specially selected by the estate gamekeeper, hung for 21 days at Finclass Butchers on Smithfield, slow cooked with a selection of winter berries and will be served with a potato dumpling. It makes an ideal and tasty winter warmer.
Supporting the fine cheese selection and Yorkshire farmed rhubarb. crumble, we have chosen a really delicious chocolate dessert. The chocolate is made from beans specially imported from Hacienda El Tesoro in the Henri Pittier National Park, deep in the Venezuelan Andes. They arrive at the chocolate factory in Uffculme, Devon where producer Willie Harcourt-Cooze makes Venezuelan Rio Caribe couverture chocolate which we have then turned in to a light mousse dessert, flavoured with caramelised orange segments.