Rebecca Saunders Showcases New Chefs’ Forum Academy Virtual Masterclasses!

Chefs' Forum Academy

The Chefs’ Forum has launched a new scheme to help chefs reach college students by offering a remote masterclass followed by a live presentation in class. The scheme is organised and run by Rebecca Saunders, The Chefs’ Forum Academy Coordinator.

Many of you would have heard of Rebecca before as she managed all guest lists for Chefs’ Forum events.  With recent announcements re: Covid-19 restrictions, these are now on hold once more.  The Chefs’ Forum Academies however continue to thrive as there is unprecedented demand for virtual masterclasses and distance learning.

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all chefs who have produced virtual masterclass so far.  It is fantastic to see chefs being so supportive of our colleges and continuing to inspire and enthuse the next generation, despite the current situation massively affecting our industry.

Chefs' Forum AcademyJason Benn, Industry Manager for Hospitality & Catering, Travel & Tourism at City & Guilds said

“In these extremely trying times, it’s never been so important for chefs to support our colleges with their virtual learning requirements.  I am delighted to see Chefs’ Forum Academies in our City & Guilds college centres leading the way and now adapting to new ways of working to maintain employer engagement and curriculum enrichment objectives in colleges all over the country.”

Because of Covid restrictions guest chefs at some Academy colleges have been prevented from appearing in class in person. However, the new scheme allows chefs to continue the work they have been doing of mentoring young students by using pre-filmed recipes.

“What we do is work with the chef who was supposed to have a session in college,” Rebecca explained. “What happens now is that we send a camera crew to their kitchen and film their masterclass. This is done in conjunction with the scheme of learning at the college, so it is in line with the curriculum.

Chefs' Forum Academy“For example, we’ve got one coming up with Rob Howell from Root who is a vegan chef. He’s done a Somerset beetroot, cucumber, yoghurt and candied walnut dish. The students will watch him make it on the screen and then attempt the same dish themselves.

Chefs' Forum Academy“At a later date there is a live-stream on Google Meet or Zoom where the students present their efforts at recreating the same dish by bringing them up to the camera in turn. The chef, who is watching from their kitchen, is then able to give comments and advice to each student as if they were there in person. There will also be the opportunity for the students to hold a live Q&A session with the chef.  So far, it’s worked really well and we have a list of chefs who are all taking part. The first live class with Richard Davies of Calcot Hotel & Spa will take place the week after next.”

Any chef interested in teaching in The Chefs’ Forum Academy should contact Rebecca Saunders:

Chefs taking part include: