Bournemouth Chefs Catch-up on Latest Menu Trends at The Hermitage

The Chefs’ Forum was delighted to hold its first Dorset & Hampshire event of 2020 at The Hermitage Hotel in Bournemouth.

Part of the Oceana Collection, The Hermitage is a luxurious property, just a couple of hundred paces from the sea.  The Oceana Collection boasts eight properties and is a significant local employer:

The Bournemouth Hotels Resort has eight venues, the Cumberland. The Suncliff, the Ocean Beach Hotel and Spa, the Best Western Hotel Royale, Mayfair, Hermitage, Trouville and Neo.

Mamadou and studentsIt was great for the students from Bournemouth & Poole College and Basingstoke College of Technology to have the opportunity to work with Head Chef Mamadou Sylla at The Hermitage to cook and serve canapès to local hospitality employers who attended the event.  Mamadou is a great example of career progression within the hospitality industry as he worked his way up from being a KP, to Head Chef, giving a cookery demo to an audience of sixty chefs.

The venue for The Chefs’ Forum’s spring event was Neo Bournemouth, owned by Oceana Hotels group. The Bournemouth Hotels Resort has eight venues, the Cumberland. The Suncliff, the Ocean Beach Hotel and Spa, the Best Western Hotel Royale, Mayfair, Hermitage, Trouville and Neo.

StudentsAs a prolific local employer with just under 600 rooms across the group, it was great for The Hermitage to host this important industry event, serving to bridge the gap between education and industry.

Helen said

“We are very proud and excited to be hosting a second event for The Chefs’ Forum, this time welcoming the students to The Hermitage. We have already taken several apprentices form Bournemouth and Poole College and it was great to meet teaching staff and students from Basingstoke College of Technology.”

The event was a resounding success with Christophe Baffos commenting

Basingstoke Front of House Students

“Today has been excellent for the students.  It was great for them to work with Mamadou a French-speaking chef and good to see how they adapted to working in different surroundings.  The experience and leadership of Mamadou in the kitchen made for a calm and well-organised environment from the moment the students arrived, and they enjoyed a great learning experience.”

Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha added

“It was great to see students from both colleges working well together to cater this important industry event for local employers.  Mamadou’s kind and patient mentoring made for the smooth-running of the event and a fantastic day of work experience for the students.  Having completed some recent work for Rational into food trends, we replaced our scheduled BBQ on the Kamado Joe (due to storm Ciara)Jamie demo with a vegan and plant-based demo by Enzo Di Marino showcasing his vegan pastries.”

The students had a very inspirational day, creating afternoon tea and a savoury canapé menu in the kitchen with Mamadou.

Jamie Clews of Robot Coupe kick-started the day with a brilliant demonstration of the market-leading Robot Cook™. Jamie made a delicious lemon curd and demonstrated how the fantastic machine could make a mango and mint sorbet from frozen mango. The Chefs’ Forum was delighted to welcome Comax as a new sponsor to the Dorset & Hampshire chapter of The Chefs’ Forum and JaAlex from Walter Rosemie was there with them to promote it as the best place to buy Robot Coupe catering equipment, as well as everything from front to back of house.

Other highlights of the day included a fascinating beef butchery demonstration in which Alex Byrne of Walter Rose & Son showcased various Stokes Marsh Farm steak cuts.  Mamadou then created a fabulous fillet of beef with creamed shallots with kale, lardon and baby onion jus.

Mamadou appointed a ‘Star of the Day’ from both front and back of house who would be invited back to The Hermitage Hotel for a trail shift and dinner.  The Front of House winner was Jay Hindle of Basingstoke College of Technology and the Back of House winner was Matthew Snow of Bournemouth & Poole College.  Both students will return with their lecturers to enjoy their prize of a trial shift and dinner at The Hermitage Hotel.

The Chefs’ Forum is proud Mamadou demoto hold four events a year in Dorset and forty on a national level.

Any chefs or suppliers wishing to get involved should contact

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