The Manchester College hosted the launch of The Chefs’ Forum in Manchester with a galaxy of culinary stars raising nearly £3000 for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation to Support Young Chefs.
On Monday 18 March, Hospitality and Catering students joined an all-star brigade of top chefs in the kitchen to cook a four-course lunch for industry professionals from across the region.
Top chefs cooking on the day were TV Chef James Martin (James Martin Manchester), Lisa Goodwin-Allen (Northcote), Simon Wood (Wood Restaurant) and Andrew Nutter (Nutters Restaurant).
James Martin said:
“It’s crucial that we go into colleges and give back to our industry. The next generation of chefs is here and it is imperative that we support and nurture young talent. I am delighted to be here at The Manchester College today and have invited the young chefs making the fish course of crab risotto with Thai flavours for trial shifts in my Manchester restaurant as a result of their excellent performance today.”
The guest chefs were asked to appoint a ‘Star of The Day’ in terms of the student in their section who impressed them the most. After much deliberation due to the standard being so high, the winners were as follows:
James Martin chose Professional Cookery Level 2 student Andy Tran (22); Andrew Nutter chose Level three student Jason Wood (30); Simon Wood chose Level 2 student Eshanti Laing (16); and Lisa Goodwin-Allen chose Patisserie and Confectionary Level 3 student Sian Wilson (23).
All students received a personally presented, signed book by James Martin – the students were delighted with their prizes.
Having the opportunity to work with such esteemed chefs really broke down barriers and showed the students that there is no need to be intimidated by celebrity or status in the culinary world. If they work hard and apply themselves, they have every chance of working in the finest kitchens, learning from the very best in the industry.
Andrew Nutter also awarded his team his signed ‘Nuts About Food’ cookery book each, as he said that they all worked so hard. His effervescent personality and cheery nature were a real hit with the students.
TV’s Masterchef Winner Simon Wood offered his team trial shifts at his Manchester restaurant. Head Chef Steve Smith from Simon’s WoodKraft Restaurant (Cheltenham) has also been teaching cookery masterclasses in The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College in Cheltenham and judging at local school Chef Link competitions, this further underpins his support for the next generation.
Lisa Goodwin-Allen has offered to teach in the colleges via The Chefs’ Forum Academy project and gave an inspirational talk to female students on the hospitality industry and her tips for success.
Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal at The Manchester College, said:
“Fantastic events and experiences such as the launch of The Chefs’ Forum at The Manchester College are a key part of our focus on careers, not just courses.
“Employability, exposure to industry and work readiness is a crucial element that sits alongside traditional class-based studies at our College. Working hand in hand with industry partners who offer unrivalled, career focused work placements is an ongoing priority for us – and is something we are proud to offer to our students.
“For our students to be able to work alongside some of the most exciting and highly respected chefs in the industry is an amazing opportunity and one that will truly inspire them to become the next generation of culinary creatives and hospitality professionals.”
Guests also heard from Mark Hyde-Catton of Gloucestershire College and Denise Charles of West London College about how The Chefs’ Forum supports catering colleges and how the students benefit from curriculum enrichment and financial support for students’ educational trips and visits.
The purpose of the lunch was to raise money for young chefs and front of house professionals coming into industry via The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation CIC, with the provision of basic equipment such as uniform or knives as well as financial help with travel and accommodation costs.
The Chefs’ Forum serves to bridge the gap between education and industry and inspiring young chefs and front-of-house professionals.
The Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha concluded:
“It’s a very proud day for all of us at The Chefs’ Forum: The Manchester launch comes after seven years of very successful quarterly networking events and Chefs’ Forum Academy projects working with hospitality industry specialists and students from the college. The Chefs’ Forum prides itself on sharing industry knowledge and best-practice in catering colleges and professional kitchens, working with top chefs across the UK. Today’s star-studded brigade was a joy to work with, The Manchester College great hosts and it was truly humbling hearing accounts from the students of how much they enjoyed the whole event!”
Photo credit www.johnscottblackwell.co.uk)