Chefs Corner

Welcome to Chefs Corner, where we introduce different members of our food development team! Our talented chefs will explain more about their roles, and also share advice, tips and inspiration with three of their favourite seasonal recipes.
Culinary Development Chef

David Carr

“I’ve been a Culinary Development Chef at Bidfood for a year now, with my background mainly in 4 and 5 star hotels, but I’ve worked across all different sectors. I mainly cover the north of England, working with our business managers to provide solutions, new menu ideas, and cost savings to our customers. As well as introducing exciting new products, it’s about new ideas on how to serve current products, so customers can maximize their output by using one product in lots of different ways. I also help our customers understand Bidfood Direct and how they can get the most out of it, using the amazing tools like the MyRecipes and Menu Planning, which are so helpful for allergens. I’ve wanted to get into chef development for a while now, so I’m very happy to have joined the chef team at Bidfood, as we get to share our ideas and work collaboratively. Every day is different, and it is challenging, but seeing the value we bring to customers with our experience and knowledge makes it all worth it.”

Chicken liver, redcurrant and brandy pâté with hazelnut and chive dressing

Serves: 4. Prep: 15 mins. Cook: 8 mins.

David says: This dish is all about the pâté, which is a smooth, rich and flavoursome product new to the range this Christmas. It’s a brilliant time-saver in the kitchen, guaranteeing you consistent quality and portion control. Combined with the crunch from the hazelnuts and the sweet onion marmalade, this is a classic Christmas starter.

View the recipe here

Festive turkey burger with smoked pulled turkey, crispy camembert and stuffing-crumbed onion rings

Serves: 4. Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 20 mins.

David says: I like using the turkey mince here because it keeps it as a classic ground meat burger rather than a breaded or battered escalope. The sage and onion stuffing through the mince is a great festive twist. The smoked pulled turkey is an amazing product, moist, delicious and really nicely smoked. It’s so versatile, there are so many ways you can use it on festive menus. I’ve added the veal jus to the pulled meat to make it sticky and gravy-like. I prefer using a pretzel burger because of their strong structure. All the festive flavours make this a proper banging burger.

View the recipe here

Christmas pudding soufflé with blueberry ice cream and brandy crème anglaise

Serves: 4. Prep: 30. mins. Cook: 10 mins.

David says: This recipe is one of my favourites from when I used to work in restaurants. It’s a lighter way to do Christmas pudding, with all the flavour but less of the stodge. I love the crispy crunchy top contrasted with the lovely soft and fluffy inside. The sharp blueberry flavour in the ice cream cuts through the richnesss and the brandy crème anglais is a refined custard to finish it off.

View the recipe here

Take a look at our previously featured chefs below

Nick Weight

Paul Tunnicliffe

Wayne Wright

Damon Corey

Adam Denny

As a development chef at Bidfood I support our sales teams in their presentations and support our customers, whether at the depot or in their business locations. We have a really good Chef Development team at Bidfood and between us we have accumulated a good few years experience within all aspects of our trade.

Mozzarella, tomato and basil bruschetta with chilled gazpacho

Serves: 12. Prep: 50 mins. Cook: 4 mins.

Nick says: “This great summer soup is a lovely light option and ideal for those barmy sunny summer days. It’s very quick and easy to prepare and is always a crowd pleaser. Ideally make this a day ahead and chill, serving it straight from the fridge. The soup is a great vegan dish on its own, but you could add seared scallops to it as an upsell, or use it as an amuse bouche in a shot glass – this isn’t a one trick pony. I enjoy pairing it with the bruschetta, with the freshly toasted bread, the smell of really good quality tomatoes, the creaminess of mozzarella and the aroma of freshly torn basil leaves – this really is summer in a dish!

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American BBQ top dog with loaded sweet potato fries

Serves: 6. Prep: 30 mins. Cook: 15 mins.

Nick says: Loaded and dirty dishes are now all the rage, they are literally on every other social media post. Much like the burger, the hot dog is a great vessel to start with, giving the chance to up-sell many different variants using countless toppings. It is also a quick and easy menu option to prepare and finish, always delivering on taste.

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Apple tarte Tatin with Cornish clotted cream

Serves: 6. Prep: 30. mins. Cook: 55 mins.

Paul says: A true classic dessert that can be served all year round, served hot or cold. Whether you choose custard, cream, ice-cream or on its own, it is up there with the best. Getting the caramel right is crucial, if you burn it, it will go bitter.

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As a Culinary Development Chef at Bidfood I work closely with our many different customers, and am able to understand their challenges and offer them solutions chef to chef. We also help identify the latest trends and the best way to get them onto our customers’ menus according to their kitchen’s needs.

‘Full Mexican breakfast’ in a soft flour tortilla bowl with maple corn ribs

Serves: 10. Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 15 mins.

Paul says: “This is an easy and versatile dish, giving a Mexican twist to the classic full English breakfast. You can make it veggie by swapping out the sausage and bacon for vegetarian versions, and a vegan version would be great too. The fajita spiced beans are a great idea, and you could mix up the spices to take you to different parts of the world.

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Jerk spring roll with marinated mango and pickled red onions

Serves: 10. Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 15 mins.

Paul says: A delicious hybrid of Asian and Caribbean food! Classic jerk flavours work really well with the sweet potato and chicken, combined with the Asian stir fry mix in a spring roll format. Jerk spice has a lovely slow build of heat. Filo pastry is an amazingly versatile and underused ingredient which you can use to top pies, make samosas or for a spring roll in this instance. It’s so quick and easy to use and has a lovely crisp texture. The ready-to-use pickled onions are a great time-saver!

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North African braised beef flatbread with cumin and maple dressing and Cajun sweet potato fries

Serves: 10. Prep: 20. mins. Cook: 150 mins.

Paul says: This north African street food paste is a very on-trend flavour which you should definitely try. The slow-cooking process turns a cheap cut into a wonderfully tender piece of beef. You can slow-cook the beef at the bottom of an oven during the day while its already in use. The crunchy slaw with the maple and cumin dressing gives a great depth of flavour. The dried apricots give a lovely sweetness to balance the dish – but you could use up any dried fruits here.

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I have been a development chef at Bidfood for almost a decade and have had the great pleasure of working with our Education and Healthcare customers. No two days are the same, I can be working on healthy nutritional meals for primary school children to tackle childhood obesity, or finding ways to tackle the holiday hunger challenges.

Crispy fish bao buns with spring onion, chilli sambal and wild garlic aioli

Serves: 10. Prep: 10 mins. Cook: 8 mins.

Wayne says: “Not many people talk about fish and seasonality, but it is an important thing to consider. Cod is in season in March/April, and it’s also prime time for wild garlic, spring onions and pea shoots too. Bao buns are a great ‘grab and go’ offering which are easily adaptable to you and your customers tastes.

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Mozambique spiced lamb pitta with apricot and mint slaw

Serves: 10. Prep: 15 mins. Cook: 60 mins.

Wayne says: Getting lamb on your spring menus is always a great idea. African flavours are part of our key trends, and this Mozambique paste is a delicious shortcut to big flavour. I’ve used tinned apricots which are a good alternative to fresh, and really compliment the lamb and the spice. Cabbage is also in season and the slaw provides a great crunch to compliment the tender spicy meat.

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Double chocolate baked cheesecake with salted caramel ice cream and chocolate soil

Serves: 10. Prep: 15. mins. Cook: 40 mins.

Wayne says: What a delicious, indulgent cheesecake, perfect for Easter menus and Mother’s Day. The marbled effect looks really striking and also tastes amazing. Who doesn’t love double chocolate!

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The day in the life of a Bidfood development chef is never dull. My job is to use my experience of 30 years in commercial kitchens to understand the process of our customer’s kitchen operations. I then pick products that I feel will be right for them with regards to the skill set, the budget and the style, and present those products in the best way possible.

Houmous with maple and harissa roasted roots with Middle Eastern flatbread sharer

Serves: 10. Prep: 10 mins. Cook: 20 mins.

Damon says: “Houmous or hummus… you decide! This dish is a great cost-effective sharing or single portion dish. Another protein packed dish made seasonal by adding roasted winter roots alongside some of our new Middle Eastern flatbreads that are incredibly tasty. My favourite veg here is the delicious beetroot, closely followed by the roasted carrots, finished off perfectly with the crunch from the dukkah.

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Burmese lime leaf and lemongrass coconut dhal with roast squash

Serves: 10. Prep: 10 mins. Cook: 30 mins.

Damon says: “January is often a time to reflect on our health and diet after an indulgent December. Dhal is the perfect combination of wholesome, comforting, delicious and affordable. I have used one of our brand new flavour bombs from Street Food here, this paste is packed full of instant and intense flavour. There’s no additives or preservatives, keeping the wholesome qualities of dahl intact.

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Vegan blueberry croissant with a lemon cream cheese filling

Serves: 10. Prep: 5 mins. Cook: 20 mins.

Damon says: “A little vegan treat for the middle of your wholesome journey through January. The blueberry croissant is made with spelt flour and a mix of sunflower seeds, marrow seeds and linseed. Great by itself, but you can elevate it with the addition of this easy vegan lemon cream cheese mix. You can also mix it up and make it a blueberry or raspberry sheesecake, or any other flavour of your choosing.

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I’ve come from a background of working in contract catering for both state and private schools, which has given me a great insight into the requirements and challenges of working in the education sector. I mainly support our education and healthcare customers, looking at new products, as well as creating recipes and responding to the latest trends.

Loaded hasselback potatoes with all the trimmings

Serves: 10. Prep: 10 mins. Cook: 60 mins.

Craig says: “Loaded fries are a popular option and here is a delicious festive version perfect for using up any leftovers or to simply get people into the Christmas spirit. Great for grab and go, and it also works as a sharer or side dish. I’d like some of these with a pint while watching the football!

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Truffle mac ‘n’ cheese topped with slow cooked beef and crispy onions

Serves: 10. Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 25 mins.

Craig says: This is proper winter comfort food at its best! Classic mac ‘n’ cheese is the people’s favourite, and it is so easy to customise and make as simple or as fancy as you want. Here, I’ve added the deep savoury flavour of the truffle oil and topped with delicious slow cooked beef in chianti which is an amazing secret shortcut ingredient this winter.

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Festive panini with a sprout slaw

Serves: 10. Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 90 mins.

Craig says: This is the ultimate Christmas sandwich! Another recipe that uses up any leftovers you have, and a tasty option for any festive lunches. The slaw is a really nice way to liven up your Brussels sprouts. Add some red chilli to spice it up, and I always add a splash of water to bring the slaw together if the mayo is too thick.

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