Quartet of Top Chefs Inspire Manchester Students

200 Manchester school students were enthralled by what they saw at a special taster day at Manchester College yesterday.

Organised by The Chefs’ Forum Academy, the special day was an opportunity for local students to get a taste of hospitality with leading chefs offering their advice and skill, as well as promoting the fact that the college is building a brand-new facility in Manchester’s city centre, to open this September.

The students were first entertained and instructed by chefs Doug Crampton and Darren Cooper. Crampton is head chef at James Martin Manchester and Cooper a chef consultant. Doug explained how science and maths are very much used every day in his kitchen; from changing the form egg yolk with low temperature cookery, to working out quantities and ratios.

Doug Crampton said

“I always knew I wanted to be a chef and I absolutely love cooking.  Teaching in The Manchester College is very rewarding and I have had many of the students join my kitchen team on the back of it.  I love watching chefs grow and move on to the next chapter in their careers. The Chefs’ Forum brings the best culinary talent together in the one place for the good of the industry and it helps us spot new talent for our brigades. Exose who is here today joined me when he was eighteen and its great to see him running his own kitchen now in BLVD Manchester.”

Next up was a pasta making masterclass with Masterchef: The Professionals finalist and BLVD head chef Exose Grant, followed by Andrew Green, Executive chef at Native.  Exose made fresh tagliatelle in his KitchenAid mixer with pasta attachment and explained how it helps him in his busy kitchen.  He also spoke about his experience on Masterchef and the students got the opportunity to watch him in the final episode.

All chefs on the stage spoke passionately about how much they enjoy teaching students at the college and how important it is to inspire and nurture the next generation of chefs.  There was also a fantastic show and tell on the A-Z of seasonal veg by Daniel Booth of Roots of Wigan who told the students of opportunities in foodservice sector careers.

After lunch Exose Grant led an éclair filling and decorating competition, which was won by Josh and Fatima from Oldham Academy North, who produced a rather ingenious caterpillar éclair, impressing Exose and Darren who judged them the winners.  The two winning students can look forward to a complimentary lunch at the new City Century college restaurant, once it opens late this year.

Sue Hadfield,  from Manchester College said of the day: “Another successful day with The Chefs’ Forum Academy. Nothing surprises me anymore. It’s been the same for 4 years. I just love the sheer variety of chefs and experts they bring in for days like this and also for our hospitality students.  We have some very exciting plans afoot including guest chef evenings in our college restaurant, culinary boot camps in the summer, as well a valuable CPD project for our teaching peers in the industry.  Our working relationship is truly unique and absolutely benefits all involved.”

Catherine Farinha, director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to do these days in person again. During lockdown we had to do virtual days and while they were enjoyed by the students nothing can beat being here in person. I always love coming to Manchester. It’s such an exciting dining scene. We’re going form strength with Manchester College.”