A product training day with a difference was hosted by the Cookshop and Housewares Association (CHA) at Eckington Manor Cookery School in Pershore, Worcestershire, on March 24.
The event combined learning about products through live demonstrations by suppliers with hands on training. Called CHA Independents Day, it focused on ‘food from around the world’ and saw four suppliers demonstrate a range of new products to a group of independent cookshop retailers. Running and sponsoring the sessions were Le Creuset, Meyer, Dexam and George East.
The first session was sponsored by Le Creuset. Using Le Creuset’s new World Cuisine Collection, the company’s group home economist Alison Haigh demonstrated a lamb balti.
Delegates then experienced French cooking. Using Raymond Blanc’s cookware by Meyer, which included a hard anodized frying pan and acacia wood chopping board, Linda Jones demonstrated how to cook Raymond Blanc’s Steak Maman Blanc recipe and then delegates enjoyed having a go for themselves.
Session three saw David Alvarez of Chef’n and Roger Morgan-Grenville of Dexam showcasing a range of products, which included the Hullster Tomato Corer and HerbSicle Herb Keeper. All enjoyed having a go with the Buttercup Butter Maker, as they battled it out to make the best presented salad.
The final session of the day came from George East, with product developer Jasleen Kaur demonstrating the new Tala Thali Curry Measure. CHA members also got to have a go with the new Chapatti roller and puffer to create chapattis to eat with their Chicken Jalfrezi and Aloo Gobi.
Outgoing CHA chairman Sarah Wood of Trevor Mottram won the best tasting competition for the third time, alongside Joan Woulfe of Cooking Marvellous and Charanjit Atwal from Hildreths.
Speaking about the event, CHA member (and Housewares Magazine columnist) Gary Gordon of Kitchen Kapers said: “No matter how much you think you know about the products, you always learn more at CHA Independents Day.”
Sarah Golden, marketing and membership director at bira added: “We love this event and we know that members and suppliers alike love to see the products being used in the kitchen and being put to the test. Not only did delegates get to network and cook, they also got to have lots of fun. The hands on experience that cookshop staff received at the CHA Independents Day, will enhance how they sell products to customers, which in turn will generate more sales.”
CHA is a national trade association for independent cookshop and housewares retailers in the UK. It is a division of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira).