Sparkle, Spice and Archery at Thornbury Castle

The latest Chefs’ Forum event was right on target.

Chefs and suppliers from across the Bristol area gathered at Thornbury Castle Hotel for an afternoon of networking and demonstrations, and to try their hand at archery!

HIT Training LearnersThe event began with a sparkle, with a Nyetimber reception accompanied by canapés prepared by Mark Veale, Head Chef at Thornbury Castle, with the help of students from HIT Training.

Mark said: “The learners today have been a credit to the industry.
“They are so keen to learn, and hungry to learn, it’s wonderful to get people like them in the kitchen and see the future of catering.”

Archery with Backwater AdventuresDevon-based adventure sports company Backwater Adventures then gave guests the chance to try their hand at archery, with a prize of a pair of digital scales from Rubbermaid being awarded to the person with the highest score. The winner of the competition was Phil Leahy, Proprietor of Beeses.

Monolith Kamado GrillNext on the agenda was some delicious chicken wings and duck hearts, prepared on the Monolith Kamado Grill, seasoned with Repertoire spices.

Mark's finished duck dish Mark then demonstrated a dish of duck and cherries using equipment from MCS Technical Products.
The event ended with a sparkle, thanks to a tasting of Nyetimber wines.

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum Catherine Farinha, explained that the purpose of the Chefs’ Forum was to connect chefs, education and suppliers and highlighted the importance of involving the learners in the events.

Adrian Kirikmaa from City of Bristol College Adrian Kirikmaa from City of Bristol College said: “At the moment it is difficult to recruit young people.

“At the moment we have a drive to recruit 50 new apprentices.

“It is about getting young people involved in our industry. We need to go into schools and inspire young people with food.

“By doing this and encouraging the young people the results have been amazing.”

Paul Mannering of HIT TrainingPaul Mannering from HIT training agreed.

He said: “It’s important that we encourage young people in the industry.

“HIT is a national training provider and we also have a Chefs’ Academy. We liaise with employers and heads of industry to make sure that we keep what we do current.”

Mark added: “As an employer I see the shortfall in people coming into the industry. I don’t see as much energy coming through.

“But it is an amazing industry and everyone I know who is in it, is very proud to be part of it.”

Photography by Kirstie Young: