Normal Service Resumes with Chefs’ Forum Academy Chefs Back in College

A huge shout out to all our wonderful chefs who have returned to teaching in person at our academies throughout the UK. January 2022 has seen a flurry of chefs back in college kitchens and delighted to be teaching face to face.

Ross Pike of Oakman Inns and Jay Michael Coward of The Leg Straps have already taught at our latest Academy at Central Bedfordshire College.

Ross said: “It was really great to be back and doing what we love: passing on our knowledge to the next generation. We all did what we could during the various lockdowns and that meant using Zoom and video. Personally, I was happy to do that but now we’re back it’s so much better.

“Having said that I learnt a lot about communicating our message remotely during those times and I’m grateful to The Chefs’ Forum for the opportunity to work with the college in Central Bedfordshire.”

All guest chefs and college lecturers have been given Chefs’ Forum Academy branded chef jackets and the students, branded aprons by our fantastic headline sponsor, Chef Works.

Temporary staffing app, Indeed Flex have also been incredibly supportive in sponsoring learning resources produced for each guest chef lecture and will be undertaking a travelling roadshow to recruit students for part time work in their holidays and weekends.

In Wales, Matt Waldron of The Stackpole Inn and Dean Milburn of The Vale Resort got back into action at Pembrokeshire College with Matt cooking vegan and Dean going more Caribbean.

Matt told The Chefs’ Forum: “I really enjoy working with students and being back in the kitchen with them means a lot. They are so passionate and want to learn so much. It’s really refreshing to be able to teach them new ideas. Like the vegan pumpkin meringue pie dish I made with them.”

Enrico Carloni, Head Pastry Chef at London’s Sushi Samba recently delivered his first masterclass in the UK at West London College, he said

“It is always nice to pass on your passion to other colleagues; From every culinary experience there is always something to learn and we never stop learning from each chef with whom we have the privilege to work with.”

HR Director of Hotel Café Royal, Simon Coulson also supported West London College in giving an inspirational presentation on CV writing and interview techniques to give the students a head start in seeing what is expected of them on entering into industry, at the same time forging fantastic college links with another prestigious employer.

Today’s installment of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at the college saw the students learning how to process live Welsh lobster, creating delicious lobster mac’n’cheese with Crockers Henley Head Chef, Tom Westerland, kindly sponsored by the Welsh Seafood Cluster. Last evening, delicious wild venison and game was sponsored by Lincolnshire Game for an extremely well-attended Burns Night Supper and a butchery masterclass billed for this Friday.  It is this hugely generour supplier support that helps us drive down the food cost, whilst enabling the students to process and cook with the finest ingredients that college budgets wouldn’t ordinarily permit.

Meanwhile, Chef Consultant Darren Cooper and Andrew Green from Native went into The Manchester College to support the students in cooking dishes dictated by the curriculum, with their own personal twists including sautéed chicken, pitta bread and Greek salad and choux pastry products, which the students very much enjoyed.

Catherine Farinha said: “We are going from strength to strength with our Chefs’ Forum Academies. It’s great to be back in college kitchens with our chefs doing such a brilliant job of enriching students’ learning with fantastic modern recipes, coupled with classic techniques. Sadly, Coleg Gwent had to briefly pause on having in-person guest lecturers due to Welsh Covid restrictions, but students are very much looking forward to welcoming Dan Bowden from Bristol’s Berwick Lodge into their fantastic teaching kitchens next week. We’re delighted to be expanding our network, with a new academy in Bradford College about to come on stream which means we have more and more opportunity to engage with students and give them a chance to work with top industry chefs and see, first-hand, the type of standards they will be expected to reach when they go out to work in professional kitchens.”