A visit to the Cornish Duck Company

Part of our chef training programme at Fifteen Cornwall is to take our apprentices out on sourcing trips so they can meet the suppliers of the food that we use and see how it’s produced before it is delivered to us at the restaurant. 

On Friday 9th July our apprentices were invited to visit the Cornish Duck Company near Truro. I wasn’t around to be able to join them that day unfortunately but here is Karl Jones’ (Training and Development Chef) account of what happened on the day.

On arrival the owners of the farm, Roger and Tanya introduced themselves and gave a brief overview of the farm business.  The apprentices were then split into three groups – each seeing a different part of the duck farming process as follows:

1.  Breeding process:  The apprentices were talked through the breeding and hatching process and were able to see some day old ducklings.  They were given a talk on the natural beginning of the egg, to it being laid, to it being incubated and finally to it being hatched. 

2. Meat production:  The ducks in this section are from day old – to 2wks old and the apprentices were talked through each stage of the ducklings life from youngest to oldest.  They were then taken to the processing room to be talked through the killing, plucking and waxing stages of the process.

3. Cutting unit: Roger and Tanya talked through what can be done with the ducks that they produce, and provided a demonstration on basic portioning of the ducks which led on to other methods such as boning out a leg.  The apprentices were able to get more hands on during this process and were joined by a French chef who discussed different ingredients that complimented duck as well as the different uses of duck eggs in cooking. 

Having seen the various processes involved in raising the ducks for commercial use, all the apprentices got together again to enjoy lunch.  Apprentices Steven Boot and Greg Lewis had brought with them some delicious chutney which they had made back at the restaurant, and year one graduate Michael Mallet who has been working at Fifteen Cornwall as a professional chef for the last two years, had also brought along some Fifteen Style Italian bread and some salad leaves and everybody tucked in as they discussed what they had learnt. 

These sourcing trips are invaluable to our apprentices who learn so much by understanding the process from ‘field to fork,’ so we’d like to thank Roger and Tanya for taking the time to show them around their farm.  To see all of the photos from the day just visit http://www.facebook.com/editalbum.php?aid=188261&add=1&id=6717857466#!/album.php?aid=188261&id=6717857466 

The next sourcing trip will be in a couple of weeks at Primrose Herd so check back to see an update on how they all got on.



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