East Met West at The Mint Room in Bath
The Mint Room Bath was the venue for the latest Chefs’ Forum event which saw a celebration of Indian gastronomy led by Executive Chef Soyful Alom. The first impression of Soyful’s food was of vibrancy and culinary excellence as he showcased his menu, perfected over the last seven years of heading-up the kitchen in the popular Bath eaterie.
Ever since its launch in 2012, The Mint Room Bath has been a much-talked-about foodie destination as Soyful offers diners elegant and vibrant plates, showcasing the very best in local produce. The restaurant is very stylish and the food very modern and the team now boast four sites, including the newly opened Bandook in Bath’s city centre on the former Carluccio’s site.
Soyful invited students from Bath College and Gloucestershire College into his kitchen to prepare Indian canapés for some fifty industry professionals that were to fill this fashionable venue at midday.
“It was a pleasure to have the students in my kitchen today. I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing. I have offered trial shifts and a free dinner to three outstanding students from Bath College today, that shows how impressed I was with these and all students who participated in today’s event, the second that we have hosted for The Chefs’ Forum”
Soyful, inspired by his mother’s cooking has been cooking for over 20 years. He relished the chance to pass over skills he learnt to the next generation.
Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer at Gloucestershire College said
“It has been really inspirational for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour. It was also a great chance for them to get to know their peers from Bath College – They all got on very well indeed. We welcome chefs like Soyful into our teaching kitchens with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, that we implemented in the college in 2016. The curriculum enrichment programme really forges links with employers, opens up opportunities and makes our students more work-ready on leaving college”
Alex Byrne from Walter Rose gave a fantastic beef butchery masterclass, showcasing the finest cuts of Stokes Marsh Farm steak. Soyful then cooked-up the steaks so the chefs were able to sample the finest quality Wiltshire beef, many of whom were already customers of Walter Rose, award-winning catering butcher.
Another highlight of the day was the Welsh Fine Food Cluster leading a fascinating and insightful Welsh food sampling session. Ffion Jones and Dafydd Jones gave a very interesting talk and tasting of Welsh cheeses, condiments and sauces.
The visiting chefs and students relished the chance to have a glimpse of complex Indian cooking techniques, handed down from generation to generation. Soyful performed an excellent cookery demo of seabass moilee, one of the most popular dishes on his menu, usually made with mixed seafood as sampled in extra portions that came from the kitchen for the chefs to enjoy.
Bath College student Daniel Shemilt very much enjoyed his Indian cookery experience, he said
”Today has been an amazing experience for all of us. I’m delighted to have won the samosa-making competition and very excited to have been invited back to The Mint Room for a Trial shif and dinner- I’ve heard great things and am delighted to get the chance to eat and work here!”
Eryn Beales (front of house) and Ellis Ali (kitchen), both of Bath College have also been awarded dinner at The Mint Room and a trial shift with a view to a part time job and if successful, for being nominated as Soyful’s ‘Stars of the Day’ , a job may even lie in store for the budding young chefs– A great result all round.
The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath & Cotswolds area and forty chef events per year nationally. Any chefs wishing to get involved should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: www.jcampbellphotography.co.uk