New Year, New Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College!

Following the launch of the ‘flagship’ Chefs’ Forum Academy at Weston College last September, January 2017 will see the highly successful project being rolled-out to Gloucestershire College, due to start in just over a week’s time.

TCF Academy at Weston College 300

The Chefs’ Forum Academy masterclasses will commence on the 9th January with Roux Scholar Paul O’Neill, Head Chef at Berwick Lodge (Bristol). The students can look forward to a compelling and inspirational course of study throughout the academic year, culminating in work experience opportunities at the participating properties and businesses.

The initiative is welcomed by Gloucestershire College Head of Hospitality, Joanne O’Connell who was appointed to lead the department last May.  Joanne has been very active in supporting quarterly Chefs’ Forum events in the area, along with chef lecturer, Mark Hyde-Catton who ensures the students know the importance of putting themselves forward to raise their individual profiles to prospective employers.

The move to bring local chefs and experts into the college to work with the students will serve to galvanise existing relationships with local employers and further-reinforce industry links for the college.

Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha commented:

“I am delighted to announce the launch of this second Chefs’ Forum Academy.  I see this project rolling-out to other colleges we currently work with. This initiative comes after five years of very successful quarterly networking events, working with hospitality industry specialists from across the region as well as staff and students from Gloucestershire College. The Chefs’ Forum prides itself on sharing industry knowledge and best-practice in catering colleges and The Chefs’ Forum Academy ensures top chefs continue to pass on their skills to the next generation, inspiring young chefs.”

The project will see well-respected, industry experts, suppliers and top chefs working with students at the College to impart knowledge on diverse specialist subjects including butchery, pastry, seasonality, Sous Vide, CV Skills, world food, game and foraging.  Chefs and industry experts from industry-leading properties including Lucknam Park, Whatley Manor, The Manor House Hotel, The Foxham Inn and Chewton Glen have all pledged their time and involvement in The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College.

Wine Tasting

The Chefs’ Forum and the College are very much looking forward to the official launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy on the 30th January which will see the catering department prepare canapés for numerous top chefs and industry professionals from across the region including led by Michelin-starred chef Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park), Roux Scholar 2013, Paul O’Neill, Jack Cook, award-winning butcher from Walter Rose & Sons and Darren Whelan of Kingfisher Brixham.

This dream-team of experts will give demos at the launch event as taster of what the students can expect on the study programme encompassing fish filleting and Michelin-starred cookery as well as butchery and the important relationship it has with top chefs in the professional kitchen.

Local secondary schools will also be invited to the launch event in an attempt to encourage 14-16 year olds to enter into the hospitality industry, helping combat the national chef shortage.

The Chefs’ Forum serves to bridge the gap between education and industry and inspiring young chefs and front-of-house professionals.  Not only does it stage 34 events per year across 9 geographical regions, but it now organises and manages an intensive programme of curriculum enrichment at Weston College and Gloucestershire College.

Any chefs or members of the press wishing to attend the launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College on the 30th January should contact Alexandra Duncan to secure a place:

Photography: John Arandhara-Blackwell