Gloucestershire College Students Get Eco-Friendly at Ballihoo Restaurant on Lower Mill Estate!

Top chefs from Cotswolds and Bath gathered at the beautiful Lower Mill Estate. Students from Gloucestershire College joined Executive Chef Rod McCormick in The Ballihoo Clubhouse and Restaurant to create mouth-watering canapés for the chefs and local hospitality employers who attended. Rod McCormick showcased his menu to his peers in a celebration of seasonal local produce and Cotswolds  provenance through canapés and a cookery demo powered by an Induced Energy invisible induction hob. This event was a great example of Gloucestershire College working seamlessly with local employers ahead of the launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy this January at the college.

Rod McCormick and Restaurant Manager Katy Booy, proved the perfect hosts as they welcomed the chefs and front-of-house professionals to this breath-taking modern eco-friendly estate, set on the Cotswolds Water Park. Ballihoo Restaurant is exclusively for Lower Mill Estate Homeowners and holiday makers and offers a fantastic breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and take-away menu.  Rod also owns and runs McBaile Exclusive Catering, specialising in high-end event catering.

induced-energy-demo-with-gloucestershire-college-studentsThe event kicked-off with a fabulous demo by Nic Banner of Induced Energy, showcasing the British-made ‘Invisible Cooking Suite’ which is the latest advance in Induction Technology and the most eco-friendly method of cooking, minimising carbon footprint and waste heat in the kitchen.  It allows the chef to prepare, cook and hold food, both front and back of house, on one lava stone surface.  The chefs were treated to a chicken Nasi Goreng garnished with Shiso Purple from Koppert Cress. The chicken was vac packed in a Multivac P200 chamber vacuum packer, then immersed in a Clifton Food Range water bath at 65 degrees for 45 minutes and finished on the Induced Energy Lava Stone showcasing the synergy and functionality between the market-leading equipment on show at the event.

canapesNext was a canapé and Majestic Commercial Cava Calamino wine reception where the guests enjoyed stunning bites of Ballihoo delight made by the students:

All ingredients for the canapés and demos were kindly supplied by The Chefs’ Forum market-leading sponsors Walter Rose, Total Produce, Castell Howell and Koppert Cress.

rod-demoRod then took to the Induced Energy demo stage to create an impressive dish of home-smoked seared duck with beetroot puree and fennel orange slaw.  He expertly segmented fresh orange which cut beautifully through the rich smoked duck breast.

wine-tasting-with-wset-and-majestic-commercialNext the guests enjoyed a wine tasting and pairing by WSET and Majestic Commercial showcasing the importance of wine education in writing menus. Brindisa Spanish delights were matched with a selection of Spanish wines.

Cornelius Veakins then invited the chefs outside for a pizza demo on the Alfa Pizza oven, available from Continental Chef Supplies.  Ballihoo Afternoon tea was then made and served by the students to round off a fantastic day of culinary inspiration and greatness.  The sweet canapés included coconut Bakewell tart, lemon & orange polenta cake and chocolate and coconut cake.students-helping-with-pizza-demo

Chef Rod McCormick said:

“Today was brilliant – I really enjoyed engaging with the students who exceeded my expectation and created some fantastic food.  I’m very much looking forward to developing my relationship wigth Glpoucester College as a result and look forward to welcoming its talented students into my kitchen both here at Balihoo and also at McBaile Exclusive Catering”.

Katy Booy, Restaurant Manager added:

The Front of House students were extremely helpful, enthusiastic and a credit to their college.  It was lovely to see them just get on with tasks without complaint – A great example of the next generation of hospitality professionals – They just kept going all day and worked very well as a team”.

Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer at Gloucestershire College was very proud of his students.  He said:

“I personally ensure that they put themselves forward for industry events like this to ensure they get valuable work experience prior to leaving college and at the same time, forging employer links that will benefit them later on in industry, I’m very much looking forward to the launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College in January 2017, I think it’s a very positive project for the college that will enrich the learning of our students.”

cornelius-alfa-pizza-oven-demoThe Students echoed Mark’s comments,

Lauren Samson (18) Level 3, year 2 student at Gloucestershire College said:

“This has been the 4th Chefs’ Forum event at which I have helped out. I really like the opportunity to talk to employers whilst gaining real event experience.  I worked in the kitchen today – It was a great atmosphere and I especially liked the canoeing and mountain biking laid on for us to unwind at the end of the day!”

Nathan Murfitt (17) Level 3 year 1 student at Gloucestershire College said:

This is my first Chefs’ Forum, I worked front of house under Katy’s direction – She was a great manager! I really enjoyed serving the canapés and talking to the chefs. It was really useful learning how to pour sparkling wine with Majestic Commercial and barista skills with Easy Jose coffee – I gained valuable experience throughout the day!  I’m looking forward to the next Cotswolds and Bath event at Beechfield House with Martin Baker on the 7th November and urge local employers to come and meet the students from Gloucestershire College!”

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