Bath College Champions Virtual Culinary Masterclasses and a New Way of Learning!

Bath College is delighted to announce the launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at the college. Top Chefs Richard Davies (Calcot Hotel & Spa), Michael Nizzero (Chef Consultant) and Chris Cleghorn (The Olive Tree) have been appointed Patrons of the Academy, all with a Michelin star under their belt.  Catering students at the college are truly learning from the best in the business.

Current restrictions mean that the chefs are unable to come into the college and teach the students in person as they normally would as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy project, now fully launched at the Bath College.  Instead, the chefs have made a film of their recipe that will be shown to the students with a recipe card to accompany.  The chefs will then join the session via a live video link to host a question and answers session with the students where they will be able to quiz the chef on their career, the recipe that has been shown to them and general insight into the industry.

This new way of learning sets out to maintain employer engagement and curriculum enrichment while restrictions remain in place.  Once these are lifted, the students can look forward to different chefs and industry experts coming into the college on a weekly basis to teach them in their usual learning environment.

The weekly Chefs’ Forum Academy masterclasses involve various local chefs and front of house professionals coming into the college to give a compelling and inspirational course of study throughout the academic year, culminating in work experience opportunities at the participating properties and businesses once students are permitted to participate in such activities again.

The teaching team at the college are delighted to welcome the guest chefs into the college to enrich students’ learning.

Sue Hudd, Curriculum Manager – Media, Production & Service Industries said

“We are delighted to welcome the guest chefs to enrich our students’ learning.  At a time when restrictions could have affected college employer engagement and liaison initiatives such as guest lectures coming into the college. We have had to think outside of the box to ensure our students are benefitting from the best learning experience possible, despite the limitations of social distancing which are outside of our control.  We have been so impressed with the level of support for The Chefs’ Forum Academy offered by local employers and we look forward to showcasing talented local chefs and their signature dishes via film and live video link for now, and in person once social distancing restrictions permit.”

The Chefs’ Forum Academy benefits the college, the students and local employers.  It is these relationships that will flourish to galvanise and support the future of the hospitality industry – A truly positive step in the right direction in such uncertain times.

Richard Davies, Executive chef of Calcot Hotel & Spa said

“I have been working with The Chefs’ Forum for the last eight years and hosted the launch of the Bath & Cotswolds chapter in 2013.  I have been very impressed with the way that the organisation has grown to become a national platform for chefs and colleges to bridge the gap between education and industry.  The Chefs’ Forum Academy initiative offers the opportunity for accomplished professional chefs to give back to the industry and pass on our knowledge and expertise to the next generation.  I am delighted to have been asked to become a Patron of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Bath college.”

When asked about how much involvement he intended to have with Bath College and The Chefs’ Forum Academy, Richard said

“I fully intend to offer as much support to the college as possible, both in delivering inspirational masterclasses in person and via video link, as well as offering employment and work experience opportunities to the students going forward.  I have always been very impressed with students from Bath College and its great to be able to progress my relationship with the college, heading-up such a positive initiative with The Chefs’ Forum Academy”.

Richard’s first masterclass at Bath College took place virtually on Thursday 24th September, where he showcased his signature stocks and sauces recipes.  These recipes form the basis for so many dishes on the menu at Calcot, so are a very valuable asset for the students to acquire, learn and take into industry with them.

All chefs taking part wholeheartedly support The Chefs’ Forum Academy and are looking forward to working with students at Bath College as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy scheme of learning. Other chefs already signed-up to the scheme, creating compelling and inspirational masterclass films and recipe cards to accompany include Rob Howell (Root, Bristol), Muraliraj Narashimaraj (Bandook, Bath), Tom Westerland and Dean Westcar (Crockers Henley), Carl Cleghorn (Thornbury Castle), Rupert Taylor (Bowood Hotel & Spa), Soyful Alom (The Mint Room, Bath), Jonny Pons and Ashleigh Farrand (The Kingham Plough) The college would like to invite Executive, Head and Pastry Chefs who would like to know more about the project to get in touch.

In normal times, the chefs would come to the college each week and take a three-hour masterclass to enrich the learning of the students in line with the subjects they are required to learn to achieve their qualification. Bath College is the only college in the South West to be working with The Chefs’ Forum Academy and this makes it an attractive choice for any young person wanting to learn from the very best chefs in the industry.

At the same time as learning new skills, cooking techniques and recipes, the students are forging relationships with the visiting chefs which will help them in their efforts to find work on leaving college as the chefs will already be familiar to them.  Many learners get offered part time work whilst still in college – This served to make them more work-ready and enables them to get work experience whilst studying – A win-win situation for all involved.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy also operates in West London College, The Manchester College, Pembrokeshire College and Coleg Gwent with further colleges set to adopt this fantastic programme of curriculum enrichment later this year.  The Chefs’ Forum serves to bridge the gap between education and industry, inspiring young chefs and front-of-house professionals.

Any local hospitality employers (within one hour radius of Bath) interested in supporting the college and offering their expertise in teaching as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy should email