Bake Off: The Professionals Star Supports Kent Chefs’ Forum Lunch
Top chefs, suppliers and hospitality students from North Kent College, gathered for a celebration of Autumnal Kentish food in the final Chefs’ Forum event of 2019.
The event took the format of an Autumn Chefs’ Lunch with five esteemed chefs from across Kent.
In the kitchen with the students were Allister Barsby (Hide and Fox) on the starter, Craig Edgell (Buoy & Oyster) on the fish course, John Bingley & Andy Holden (The Cave Hotel) on the main course and Bobby Brown (Bank House) on dessert.
The menu was sublime, and all ingredients were kindly donated by Chefs’ Forum sponsors Walter Rose & Son and Koppert Cress, fish from The Buoy and Oyster and veg from Seasons by Nature. This enabled The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation to raise vital funds amounting to well over £1200 to help young chefs and hospitality professionals coming into industry.
A silent auction and raffle on the day bolstered money raised and guests were able to bid on the lots and prizes as Christmas presents which included a David Pipe race horse stable tour, afternoon tea at The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel, a meal at Hide and Fox with Allister Barsby and a meal for two at Bank House with Bobby Brown.
A special guest appearance was also made by TV chef Cherish Finden, International Pastry Consultant to support the chefs and students in her home county of Kent. The students were rather star struck as she walked into their kitchen to greet her chef peers mentoring the young chefs on the day.
With such a galaxy of TV culinary stars in the college kitchen, there was a real buzz about the place and it was fantastic to see such a show of strength and support for the college.
The Chefs’ Forum bridges the gap between industry and education and by hosting the Kent Chefs’ Lunch in what is now the seventh year of The Chefs’ Forum. In hosting the lunch, North Kent College underlined its commitment to the initiative in inspiring young chefs, enriching their learning and forging strong links with leading employers within the industry.
Codorníu Anna cava was served as a welcome drink as guests networked and spoke to top suppliers in a mini trade show. Cordoníu also sponsored the wines served with the lunch; White Vina Pomal Rioja Viura-Malvasia 2018 and Red Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva 2014 – A delicious accompaniment to the excellent dishes served by the guest chefs.
A welcome speech was made by Vice Principal of Gravesend Campus, Mark Andrews, and Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha. Mark spoke of the importance of the College and local employers working together to support this vital sector and thanked the guests for attending the Chefs’ Lunch.
“It is fantastic to welcome so many local employers and renowned chefs here to our college today. Inspirational events and experiences such as today’s chefs’ lunch with The Chefs’ Forum are greatly worthwhile for our students and teaching staff alike.
“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 county is an amazing opportunity and one that will truly inspire them to become the next generation of culinary creatives and hospitality professionals.”
Together, the chefs and students created and served a four-course meal for around fifty professionals from the catering industry who were all there to get in touch with the next generation of talent whilst catching up with their peers and suppliers.
Duncan Weetman, Chef Lecturer stated:
“Today has been an amazing experience for our students. They love to work with different chefs and learning new cooking techniques. The food was superb, and it was a great opportunity to showcase our students’ professionalism and skills. I would like to thank The Chefs’ Forum for making today a great success and inspiring our students.”
Catherine Farinha, Chefs’ Forum Founder added:
“We have been working with Duncan and North Kent College for two years now and the students never fail to impress with their enthusiastic, helpful attitude and professionalism. It is great to have so many fantastic chefs here today with the common purpose of enriching students’ learning. It is fantastic to return to the College for the second time to stage a lunch event with another new cohort of students and the next generation of top chefs. The chefs and students did a fantastic job today, they really stepped up to the task and it’s so important that we nurture and support the next generations of hospitality professionals. It’s important they can work with industry on the practical side, as well as on theory. For the students who took part today, this event was an excellent opportunity to build on important networks and partnerships in the hospitality and catering industry.”
Photography by www.kentfoodphotographer.com