Burgers, Beats and Culinary Brilliance at South & City College Birmingham

Year 8-11 school students enjoyed a brilliant taste of hospitality on Tuesday courtesy of South & Central College Birmingham. The special taster day included a build-a-burger section by chef Richard Wainman from Dick’s Smokehouse in Bromsgrove, ably assisted by Chefs’ Forum Brogen’s little brother Kenzie Bryan.

The Hospitality Industry Taster Day, put on by The Chefs’ Forum Academy is a great way of engaging feeder school students and introducing them to the delights of hospitality with national professionals putting on masterclasses.

The free morning was sold out and started with a Canapé & mocktail reception followed by burger building and an interactive cookery demo with Dan Hadland from Highbury Hall. Following that Chris Alexander, Executive Chef at Restaurant Associates, gave a demonstration on the art of plating and then it was time for lunch before Tom Everard-Fairburn from Two Brothers Bakery got the students working again with a choux pastry and éclair decorating competition.

Vince Wetherell, Sales Director at MCS Technical Products showcased CookTek Helios induction hobs and taught the students how the technology works, bringing science, technology and maths into the event, which made the teachers happy.

Yasmine Sahib and Ruby Mitchell from King Edward VI Northfield School for Girls won the competition with a perfectly filled and creatively decorated éclair that impressed the judges and won them a £20 voucher to spend at Dick’s Smokehouse.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “Our Taster Days are an excellent way of getting school students to get involved with catering and see how working as a chef can be a rewarding career. The fact that we had a burger building part just made it all the more special. All the students could relate to it. In turn, that got them interested in the finer details that our other chefs brought. All in all it was a great morning.”

Sheri Cadwallader, Senior Technician from South & City College Birmingham said: “This was our second Taster Day with The Chefs’ Forum and we can see how much it engages with students in a new and different way. These mornings are fun and there’s a real sense of theatre. Couple that with good cooking and it’s a great recipe for increasing awareness of our courses. 10/10.”

Film and photography by Carlos Farinha.