Archery, Spice and All Things Nice for Bristol Chefs at Thornbury Castle

The latest Bristol Chefs’ Forum event was right on target.  Chefs and suppliers from across the Bristol area gathered at Thornbury Castle Hotel for an afternoon of networking and demonstrations, and to try their hand at archery and crossbow.

Canape 2CanapesThe event began with a sparkle, with a sparkling wine reception accompanied by canapés prepared and served by Andy Chan, Head Chef at Thornbury Castle, with the help of students from HIT Training, City of Bristol College and Weston College.  It was great for these young kitchen and front of house students, from three different learning providers, to be able to work together as a team for the first time in a different environment – This was real industry experience!

Andy said: “The learners today have been a credit to the industry.

City of Bristol College Student“They are so keen to learn, and hungry to learn, it’s wonderful to get people like them in the kitchen and see the future of catering. The have all been really great today”

Jack Cooker Butchery DemoJack Cook of Walter Rose & Son took to the Chefs’ Forum demo stage to break down half a pig for his butchery masterclass. He talked the chefs and students through the various different cuts of meat to be achieved and products that could be made using the entire carcass with zero waste.  Katlin Ambos, Spice Queen at Santa Maria then introduced the chefs to the Santa Maria range of herbs and spices urging them to pay more care and attention to such an important element of their cooking.  Katlin then suggested some rubs to go with Jack’s choice cuts before Leander Cadbury of Synergy Grill carried them off to be grilled to perfection by demo chef Claire Mansfield.

Tom Demo DishAndy Demo dishThornbury Castle chefs Andy Chan and Tom Everard-Fairburn (Head Pastry Chef) joined forces on the demo stage to showcase some dishes from the Thornbury Castle menu.  Andy used the freshly-butchered pork loin to create a perfectly-balanced seasonal dish of pork with burnt apple balls and broccoli with a rich sauce.  The Convotherm Mini Combi oven was used to finish the dish and it went down a storm with the visiting chefs.  Tom then created a beautifully fresh passionfruit parfait with a raspberry mousse and freeze-dried raspberry garnish.  Tom explained plans to create a fully-stocked kitchen garden to become completely self-sufficient.

Next on the agenda was a Sam from Santa Mariasumptuous barbecue on the Synergy Grill showcasing Walter Rose handmade sausages and burgers as well as more fabulous Santa Maria rubbed pork cuts from Jack’s butchery demo.  The chefs took the opportunity to fuel-up in advance of their archery and crossbow activity on the lawns of tCrossbowhe castle.  Devon-based adventure sports company Backwater Adventures then gave guests the chance to try their hand at archery and crossbow – Great for relaxing on their day off!

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum Catherine Farinha, explained

“The purpose of The Chefs’ Forum is to connect chefs, education and top-quality suppliers to both. It is extremely important to involve student chefs and front of house professionals in the events.  I am delighted that students from three learning providers were all working together under Andy in the kitchen – it has been a fantastic learning experience for them all.”

Chef lecturer Ryan Fernandes from City of Bristol College said

 “At the moment it is difficult to recruit young people.  Today’s event has enabled our students to showcase their skills to perspective employers.  We really enjoy taking part in Chefs’ Forum events to keep up to date with industry trends and cooking styles as well as forging links with our teaching peers from other colleges and learning providers”.

Jeanette Rollings from Weston College added

“It is about getting young people involved in our industry. We need to invite schools into our colleges and inspire young people with food.  My students have very much enjoyed their time at today’s Chefs’ Forum event, for many, at level one, it was their first Chefs’ Forum event and they loved being given the opportunity to attend. It’s a great follow-on from the work we are doing inside the college with The Chefs’ Forum Academy sessions, where guest chefs (all Chefs’ Forum members) enrich the learning of our students through delivering cookery masterclasses in our college kitchens.”

Angelo Moore from HIT Training agreed.

He said: “It’s important that we encourage young people in the industry.

“HIT is a national training provider and we also have a Chefs’ Academy. We liaise with employers and heads of industry to make sure that we keep what we do current and deliver work-based learning qualifications which proves a great solution for many employers. It’s also great for our apprentices to experience different organisations and to work with other industry professionals.”

The Chefs’ Forum continues to hold four events per year in Bristol and any chefs wishing to join should email Rebecca Saunders, Member Relations Executive

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