Managing a Food based zoom meeting

I get all sorts of enquiries for all sorts of different jobs, but one I had recently was just wonderful. As a member of the Guild of Food WritersGuild of Food writers the Covid pandemic has actually had its benefits. Being a London centric organisation most of the events are based in or near London so as a Scot it is not easy to attend, but the committee has organised lots of events on Zoom and whilst the talks and break out rooms are good to a point, you never actually have a proper contact. So when the guild offered a master class in cheese tasting with real cheese I jumped at the idea. Our experts had teamed up with the amazing Courtyard dairy who sent each attendee a little box of 6 cheeses all at perfect ripeness and with wine suggestions. Everyone on screen had the same cheese. The sounds of appreciation of really underlined the shared event, the actual act of sharing a physical entity and talking about it was brilliant. Some time later I had an e mail from Rotary International who were organising a meeting of their main representatives around the country and of course it had to be on Zoom. My contact had been told about me by a colleague on St Andrews business club Heather Stewart who heads up Fife Cultural TrustFife Cultural Trust, I had done a zoom food and wine tasting for the St Andrews Business ClubSTABC where I had sent out a recipe and people had either gone out and bought the materials and prepared the dish or bought something similar Heather had obviously enjoyed it and remembered the event. So the idea was out there. I suggested a cheese workshop in which I organised the Courtyard dairy to send a variety of cheese covering the UK and all in perfect condition . Again they came up trumps with Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish cheese. We had a great evening I had suggested wines and we went through them all with a bit of history and detail of the cheeses themselves. We are so fortunate that we do have some superb cheese makers and Cheese suppliers. The only near fly in the ointment was when Courtyard couldn’t send cheese to a member in Eire due to Brexit and the incompetent beaurocrats involved, so they suggested an Irish company and apart form a slight glitch, Sherridans came up trumps with an all Irish selection for our member in Dublin, what a lot of fun it was and I hope started them off on an enjoyable and productive evening.

Cheese is a living product. It has seasons and they mature at different times. Your cheesemonger will know what is good at any given time. So next time you shop for cheese don’t ask for a specific ask instead, what is good just now. You will put a smile on the cheese mongers face and you will get a superb cheese.

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Christopher Trotter – Chef, Writer, Food critic, Speaker