Coleg Gwent Looking Forward to Another Year of The Chefs’ Forum Academy

Coleg Gwent, in Cross Keys Wales, has signed-up with The Chefs’ Forum Academy for another year and cited the amazing CPD opportunities as one of the main reasons.

“It’s great to renew our Chefs’ Forum Academy partnership for the third year” said Head of School – Services to People, Helen Lawless.

“The learners and staff both look forward to the weekly masterclasses and have forged great employer links as a result,” she explained.

“Our teaching staff also benefit from fantastic CPD opportunities including butchery, patisserie and networking with other colleges via Student Pastry Chef of the Year. One of our learners made the final last year and plan to enter more learners into this years competition.”

Teaching staff at the college can look forward to stages and butchery masterclasses to update their culinary skills and hone their butchery expertise, enabling them to keep their finger on the industry pulse.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy Founder Catherine Farinha said:

“We’re all thrilled to be working with Coleg Gwent for another year. When we met today at Morels restaurant on campus for lunch the students were brilliant and the food was amazing. We’ve built up a great partnership and have exciting plans for The Chefs’ Forum Academy this year with new initiatives like The Chefs’ Knowledge and Student Pastry Chef of the Year.”

Catherine and National Business Manager Alexandra Duncan were treated to a fantastic valentine-themed menu complete with beautiful packets of handmade chocolates all made and service by the students.

The menu comprised delicious Macaroni & Y Fenni cheese pots, Polenta & Lentil cake, roasted vegetables and cucumber yoghurt sauce to start.

Then The Chefs’ Forum was treated to a sumptuous seafood fish pie containing cod, salmon, king prawns and mushroom sauce, topped with creamy mash potato and gratinated with Tintern cheese.

Apple and rhubarb crumble tartlet with raspberry ripple ice-cream rounded-off the delicious lunch with wonderful barista-made coffees from the front of house team to finish.

This is the second visit to Wales in recent weeks, The Chefs’ Forum also visited Pembrokeshire College to plan a Hospitality Industry Taster Day to take place in April at the college.  Coleg Gwent will also host a Taster Day for local feeder schools next month to get secondary school pupils thinking and talking about food and encouraging them to consider studying courses in catering and hospitality when they move on to further education on finishing school.

When The Chefs’ Forum team visited Pembrokeshire College for a show-round, they were treated to a delicious lunch of spicy parsnip soup and a time-honoured favourite of crispy chicken kiev with sautéed potatoes.

Dessert comprised of a delicious trio of afternoon tea delights that the student created in their pastry masterclass on the day with Ashleigh Ferrand, Head Chef of The Kingham Plough via video link.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy curriculum enrichment sessions clearly benefit both teaching staff and students at our Welsh colleges and offer a fantastic opportunity to forge strong employer links going forward.

Alexandra concluded

“Working with Welsh colleges and top Welsh producers really galvanises the rich culinary offering around the prolific chefs for which Wales is renowned on an international level.  We have a whole series of events planned for the coming year to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, showcasing various Welsh Assembly-endorsed produce clusters including Welsh Seafood, drinks, sustainability and fine food.  We have a Sustainability Lunch taking place next month at The Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot with The Seren Group chefs and a Welsh Fine Food Cluster showcase at Calcot Hotel and Spa in May – Students from both colleges will be invited to participate, again forging links with top-drawer employers while still studying.”

The Chefs’ Forum really enjoyed both visits and it was lovely to finally be able to visit in person after so long.  The students are all very talented as the food was delicious, very well-presented and beautifully served by the front of house students – They are all showing great promise and we can’t wait to showcase their skills at our St David’s Day lunch, showcasing Welsh Seafood and chefs at L’Oscar in London on the 1st March…again an excellent work experience opportunity for the students and a huge nod to the excellent bounty of seafood species available for UK chefs to source from Wales.

All chefs keen to get involved in both The Chefs’ Forum Academy and attending Chefs’ Forum events should get in touch with Chefs’ Forum Event Executive, Alicia Kember.

Please email for more information.