Iconic Luxury Hotels Chefs Mentor Next Generation of Culinary Talent, Raising Vital Funds to help Young Chefs entering Industry

On Monday (14) October, the Head Chefs from Iconic Luxury Hotel properties, Cliveden House, Chewton Glen, The Lygon Arms and 11 Cadogan Gardens helped young people from West London College and East Kent College create a mouth-watering lunch for 80 extremely discerning diners in the luxurious surroundings of The Cliveden Dining Room. Nearly £3000 was raised in a silent auction to support young people with travel costs in accessing work experience, essential equipment and helping colleges to fund employer trips, visits and feeder school travel to college events.

L-R Catherine Farinha and Denise Charles

Welcome speeches were made by Cliveden’s General Manager, Kevin Brooke; Head of Hospitality and Catering at West London College, Denise Charles and, Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha.  Kevin gave a fascinating insight into the remarkable history of Cliveden House and thanked guests for supporting the fund-raising lunch. Denise spoke of the importance of the College and local employers working together to support the hospitality sector and thanked guests attending the lunch for bidding in the silent auction to support young hospitality professionals.

Luke Matthews and studentsAuction lots comprised overnight stays at Chewton Glen, Cliveden House, The Lygon Arms and 11 Cadogan Gardens, including a three-course dinner and breakfast, together with a fabulous race horse training experience, stable tour and local race meet tickets, kindly donated by David Pipe Racing.

Cliveden House in Berkshire was delighted to host this fundraising lunch for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation CIC – An organisation incorporated by Catherine Farinha and Alexandra Duncan in October 2016 to raise vital funds to help disadvantaged young people enter the hospitality business, by connecting them with potential employers and providing essential support and equipment.

Paul and the students

Now in their seventh year, The Chefs’ Forum bridges the gap between industry and education by hosting a series of ‘Chefs’ Lunch’ events throughout the country. In hosting the lunch on October 14th, Cliveden and the Iconic Luxury Hotels underlined their commitment to the initiative of inspiring young chefs; enriching their learning; and forging strong links with leading employers within the industry.

Roux Scholar and Executive Head Chef at Cliveden and the host of the Autumn Lunch, Paul O’Neill said:

“It is fantastic to welcome so many local employers and renowned chefs here to Cliveden House today. Inspirational events and experiences such as today’s chefs’ lunch with The Chefs’ Forum are extremely important for our industry.”

“For the students to be able to work alongside some of the most exciting and highly-respected chefs in the country is an amazing opportunity and one that will truly inspire them to become the next generation of culinary creatives and hospitality professionals.”John Addey KC Caviar

Joining Paul in mentoring the college students on the day were Adam England (11 Cadogan Gardens) on the delectable amuse bouche of Smoked eel, Foie Royale mousse and crispy ham hock with Kc Caviar. Ales Maurer (The Lygon Arms) prepared a beautifully seasonal starter of spiced pumpkin, chicory, burrata, truffle honey and toasted seeds – very appropriate, as all tables were named after squashes, kindly selected by Ron Maxfield of First Choice Produce, himself an ex Michelin-starred Executive Chef of Cliveden House (1986-1997).

During the lunch John Addy of Yorkshire-based Kc Caviar told the guests about the history of fabulous ethical, British, sustainable caviar which was incorporated into the Amuse-bouche created by Adam England, who was impressed by the two ethical, sustainable alternatives to traditional caviar and foie gras.

Adam was really impressed by Kc Caviar and Foie Royale, two ethical, sustainable alternatives to tAmuse Boucheraditional caviar and foie gras.

Adam said:

“I was very impressed with the students today and have really enjoyed my time here at Cliveden supporting Paul and the other chefs from the group.  I would happily welcome work experience candidates into my kitchen based on their performance today.  I very much look forward to continuing to work with The Chefs’ Forum.”

Next, Luke Matthews (Chewton Glen) served a show-stopping fish course of baked halibut, tomato and herb glaze, sea vegetables and smoked butter. Paul O’Neill (Cliveden) wowed guests with a Walter Rose rump of mutton, ras el hanoAlesut, smoked aubergine and mutton belly pastilla. To finish, Cliveden’s talented pastry chef Gavin Stewart served a bomb of blackberry mousse, yuzu, manjari 64%, chocolate and blackberry sorbet which was Autumn on a plate!

The front of house students from West London College and East Kent College also did a fantastic job of room set-up, table lay-up and wine, lunch and coffee service led by Matthew Wood, Conference and Banqueting Operations Manager at Cliveden.

The menu was absolutely sublime, with the chefs all showcasing signature dishes to their professional peers and leading industry suppliers as well as the students.

Codorníu Anna cava was served as a welcome drink as guests networked and spoke to top suppliers in a mini trade show. Cordoníu also sponsored tMain coursehe wines served with the lunch; Via Pomal Posado with Adam’s Amuse-bouche, Vina Pomal Blanco 2018 with Ales’ starter, Legaris Verdejo 2018 with Luke’s fish course, Vina Pomal Reserva 2014 with Paul’s main and Legaris Crianza 2013 2ith Gavin’s dessert –  A delicious accompaniment to the excellent dishes served by the guest chefs, with the pairing expertly narrated by Cliveden’s sommelier, Zareh Mesrobyan.

All ingredients and drinks for the lunch were kindly sponsCodorniu Anna Cavaored by Koppert Cress, First Choice Produce, Foie Royale, Kc Caviar, Walter Rose & Son, Ritter CourivaudSanta Maria, and Truffle Hunter.  This vital sponsorship drives down the food cost and maximised funds raised on the day, nearly £3000 on this occasion which is very impressive indeed.

Catherine Farinha, Chefs’ Forum Founder concluded:

“We have been working with Paul O‘Neill for six years now.  It is great to join him once again, this time at Cliveden, demonstrating top-drawer career progression as a Roux Scholar.  It is humbling to have so many fantastic chefs from the Iconic Luxury Hotels here today with the common goal of enriching students’ learning.  We very-much look forward to following up and inviting the Iconic chefs into catering colleges to teach students in their usual environment via The Chefs’ Forum Academy.  The chefs and students did a fantastic joFish Courseb today, they really stepped up to the task and it’s so important that we nurture and support the next generations of hospitality professionals. It’s important they have the opportunity to work with industry on the practical side, as well as on theory. For the students who took part today, this event was an excellent opportunity to build on important networks and partnerships in the hospitality and catering industry.”

Photography by www.kentfoodphotographer.com