‘Manor House Pork’ From Field to Fork at City of Bath College

The Chefs’ Forum held a lunch at City of Bath College’s ‘Shrubbery Restaurant’ on the 3rd June 2014 to showcase pork reared at The Manor House Hotel ‘from field to fork’. An impressive pork butchery master class by Walter Rose & Son preceded a delicious Michelin -starred lunch.  This was prepared by Sam Moody (The Bath Priory) and Richard Davies (The Manor House Hotel) with students from City of Bath College.

Fifty guests including Michelin-starred and AA Rosette chefs attended as well as local food writers and industry movers and shakers – An extremely tough audience for the budding young chefs and front of house professionals.  The students were fantastic displaying the utmost in dedication and professionalism and the event was a real success.

Richard Davies, Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Manor House Hotel (Castle Combe) donated a ‘Manor House’ pig for the lunch from his herd at the stunning Cotswolds property. This gave the guests a true ‘field to fork’ experience:  Reared at The Manor House, the herd are then butchered by Walter Rose & Son and returned to Richard to be incorporated into his world-class menus!

Richard said:

“We have been rearing our own pigs here for three years. They are looked after by our head gardener John Rowland.  Our pigs are feed on pig feed and spend their time digging for roots in each of our four acres on a three month rotation basis.  John then replenishes each acre with turnips so they’ve always go roots to forage”.

On working with the talented level 1& 2 students at the College, he commented:

“I really enjoyed working with the students at the College, their enthusiasm was amazing and I was very impressed with the top of the range kitchen facilities at the college – A fantastic leaning environment for the next generation”.

Ingredients for the lunch were kindly donated free of charge by Chefs’ Forum Sponsors Total Produce, Forest Produce and coffee by Brian Wogan Coffee.  It is these sponsors who facilitate the existence of the Chef’ Forum in driving down the food cost through donation to the college in staging valuable industry networking events like this.

The students helped finish preparation of the starter and main courses and top chefs from the Bath and Cotswolds area were delighted with the ‘field to fork’ lunch experience

The delicious starter was Croquettes of Manor House Pork, Apricot and Caraway Chutney with Almonds by Sam Moody. This was then followed by a sumptuous main of Slow cooked belly of ‘Manor House Pork’, baked apple, celeriac and heritage carrots by Richard Davies.

Level 2 chef students then made a dessert of ‘fancies’ with their front-of-house peers serving the fabulous feast with the utmost in professionalism.  The ‘fancies’ were paired with Peller Ice Wine and Carol Ayling told guests of the pain-staking process of achieving the wonderful, high-end tipple!

Sam Moody and Richard Davies head-up The Chefs’ Forum in Bath & The Cotswolds with Catherine Farinha (Founder) and Bridget Halford, Head of Department for Hospitality, Hair, Beauty & Floristry at City of Bath College.

Bridget stated:

“We as a College are looking to improve our links with local employers in the catering industry and The Chefs’ Forum is a perfect vehicle to do this.  Our staff and students really enjoy contributing to its quarterly events where we can keep in touch with industry and benefit from improved communication with professional kitchens on a local level”.

After lunch, Sam Moody Executive Chef at The Bath Priory and Chefs’ Forum Committee member spoke of the importance of events to the College and its students:

“Forging links between the colleges, apprentices, leading chefs and high quality suppliers is a key way for the industry to grow and get stronger. I enjoy working with Bridget and students at City of Bath College on a regular basis and find spending time mentoring and sharing knowledge extremely rewarding”

The Chefs’ Forum launched four years ago and has since expanded to include highly accredited chefs, a few celebrity chefs, catering colleges and top suppliers on a South UK-wide level.

Catherine Farinha, Founder Committee Member of The Chefs’ Forum and event organiser stated:

 “We have forged valuable links between the catering colleges and top chefs across the South of the UK and it is always fantastic to work with the extremely talented chefs in Bath & The Cotswolds. Communication between education and industry in the region is fast becoming effortless due to our extensive contact database and integrated communication tools like e-newsletters and social media platforms. This will lead to the next generation of top chefs and Front of House professionals learning from the very best in the business”.

Having successfully launched in London last month, The Chefs’ Forum plans to roll out nationally next year working with prestigious industry organisations to facilitate this.