A Taste of Things to Come!

School and College students got a taste of the future on Tuesday at South & City College Birmingham. The latest college to sign-up for a Chefs’ Forum Academy hosted a fantastic Hospitality Industry Taster Day for students with top chefs, suppliers and Front of House experts on hand to show what hospitality is all about.

The insight into the world of the hospitality industry with top local and national chefs, featured a canapé & mocktail reception followed by a pasta-making masterclass with Exose Grant – MasterChef: The Professionals Finalist 2019 and Head Chef at Ikaro.

Exose invited enthusiastic year 10 students, Sasha Guest-Scott and Sherene Day onto the stage to help make fresh tagliatelle and a delicious creamy Royal Greenland prawn sauce.

Royal Greenland kindly sponsored cold-water prawns for Exose’s canapé – A Royal Greenland cold water prawn bruschetta which he made with the level two college students.

Solene Labarere, UK Market Development Manager took to the stage to tell the students all about their world-famous prawns and how they are harvested and transported to the UK.

Exose said

“I have done quite a number of these fantastic taster days as a frequent guest lecturer in The Chefs’ Forum Academy at lots of UK colleges and I really enjoyed meeting and working with the students at SCCB.  It was also great to cook with Royal Greenland prawns on the brand new CookTek induction hobs, recently donated to us by MCS Technical Products.  I was particularly impressed with the way that Sherene created perfect tagliatelle with hardly any help, she also helped me create the sauce and kept stirring it while I was helping Sasha with the pasta machine – A great young chef in the making!  It was also honoured to sign a copy of The Chefs’ Knowledge for them both and I’m sure they will enjoy reading about all of the Chefs’ career stories, including my own!”

Rapper Lowkeylimit and Chefs’ Forum dancers Kit Sells and Princess Van-Der-Larbi punctuated the cookery demos with impressive dance routines and brilliant music – They really put on a show that the young audience really enjoyed!

Following on, Munayam Khan, Chef Patron of Raja Monkey showed the students how to make and fill the perfect samosa.

Year 10 student, Mia May was on hand to learn how to roll-out, fill and fold a samosa in the traditional Punjabi way, expertly led by Munayam.

Mia said

“Samosas are one of my favourite street foods and it was great to learn how to make one.  I have the recipe in my goodie bag and I fully intend on making this for my family and friends when I get home. I’m really grateful to Munayam for giving me the opportunity and was delighted to receive a signed copy of The Chefs’ Knowledge containing more of his recipes to try!”

Munayam also made a Bhelpuri, made with puffed rice, chinni sev (thin fried noodles) and pomegranate seeds as a canapé and served them to the room – The students absolutely loved it!

Next up, Chris Emery of Orelle Restaurant in Birmingham talked students through his career, whilst making his signature dish of Roast Peking Duck, Confit Beetroot, Maitake (hen-of-the-wood mushroom) and Confit leg pie.  Chris prides himself on using all local, seasonal ingredients and championing local farmers. He also invited year 10 student, Bohdan Yekimov onto the stage to mirror him in plating-up the dish, he did very well indeed!

Toffee Apple Éclair filling and decorating was next with Tom Everard-Fairburn – Owner of Two Brothers Bakery in Warrick.

Level 2 student Ruta Gizach and Year 10 student, Dan Snow both had a go at recreating Tom’s toffee apple eclair and Tom was really impressed with their efforts.

Tom also made a toffee apple choux bun version as a canapé for the audience to try.

Ex-SCCB student, Tom has worked with The Chefs’ Forum to inspire young chefs for the past decade and is a regular in Chefs’ Forum Academy masterclasses and at various events.

Tom is an excellent pastry chef and it was great to be able to tell the students about his journey that has led to him recently opening his own business.

Also on stage was Connor McAlpine of ‘Connorcierge’ – One of London’s hottest concierge services – which arranges tables at top restaurants for celebrities and VIP’s. Connor’s unique insight into hospitality and his highly successful career story had the students enthralled.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “It was a great way to start the year. SCCB is a brilliant college and our chefs loved being here and are looking forward to teaching masterclasses and inspiring the catering students as the year unfolds.  We’re also looking forward to an exciting business studies challenge for hospitality students this January, which will see Munayam taking the students to a wholesaler and helping them to buy ingredients and create a seasonal menu, all within a designated budget, to sell to their peers and teachers.  The winning student will receive a fantastic dinner at Raja Monkey!”

Adam Porter, Head of School: Hospitality & Catering at SCCB said: “It was the dream start to the year for us. We staged this event at South & City Academy to show students what Hospitality & Catering courses are all about over at the college and they loved it. Partnering with The Chefs’ Forum is going to revolutionise what we do with our students and those that will be coming in future years.”

This event has helped the college satisfy multiple standards on the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance in linking the curriculum to careers, enabling students to encounter employers and facilitating encounters with further and higher education.

Catherine concluded

“The Chefs’ Forum Academy employer engagement programme also offers experience of work places with regular work experience opportunities and personal guidance for each student. We are frequently interviewed by OFSTED to this end in helping colleges get the recognition they deserve for extensive curriculum enrichment work with us.  We really love what we do and it is great that the colleges we work with can benefit from our work as well as helping employers identifying and nurturing the next generation of culinary and hospitality talent.”