St Patrick’s Day Sponsorship and Chefs’ Forum Academy Students Finding Jobs in Top Kitchens!

The purpose of The Chefs’ Forum Academy is to bridge the gap between professional kitchens and college classrooms, as well as helping colleges secure valuable ingredients sponsorship.

It is also something to shout about when our college masterclasses turn into jobs;

Chefs Michael Dutnall of The RAF Club and Jordan Sclare of Chotto Matte have both taken part in Academy events at West London College and now their kitchens have been opened-up to three students.

Today is St Patrick’s Day, so it was amazing to be able to help secure the generous sponsorship of 12kg of Irish beef rib from leading catering butcher, Fairfax Meadow.  It is this commercial insight, combined with sales and marketing expertise that helps The Chefs’ Forum team drive down the food cost for college events and enables the students to cook with the finest ingredients.

West London College also benefitted recently from top quality Welsh lobster being supplied to the college by the Welsh Seafood Cluster for a masterclass with Tom Westerland, Head Chef at Crockers Henley.

Both beef rib and lobster are ingredients that college budgets simply don’t permit, so it is so rewarding to involve trade suppliers to help the college in this way.

Two NVQ2 Professional Cookery students, Ratmir Plokhov and Laurie Ballard, both took part in Michael Dutnall’s talk to catering students and they have both been taken on at The RAF Club. Ratmir has secured a trade test and Laurie has got work experience.

Ratmir told The Chefs’ Forum

“I’m so happy to be working at The RAF Club! I completed a trade test which was a very different experience to anything I had done before. It was a great learning experience and I was able to complete it with confidence in a really supportive environment.”

After working at a Chefs’ Forum Academy event student George Jones-Leonard, NVQ1 Professional Cookery, has secured a job at Chotto Matte on the days that he is not at college and Patrycja Ludzkowska recently graduated level 2 Patisserie & Confectionery is now working at LOUIE London in the pastry session.

Head of Curriculum at West London College, Denise Charles, said:

“Being part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy gives students the opportunity to network with guest Chefs and Front of House experts. Students are gaining valuable work experience and jobs after the masterclasses which just shows how important it is to get the two sides of the industry to meet in the middle.

“Our students are keen, open-minded and excited to get to work in the industry and meeting and working with guest chefs and front of house experts is really helping them to develop.”

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum said: “This is such good news. In our tenth year it is so satisfying to hear that students are graduating into good kitchens through our academies. But we are going further than that. Through the colleges we are opening the doors to school students too with special taster days.

“In April we have a taster day at West London College where Michael Dutnall of The RAF Club, Jesse Dunford Wood from Parlour and Poppy O’Toole from Poppy Cooks will be demonstrating and introducing the students to the chef world. And Japanese sushi expert Keiko Urakawa will be making sushi.

“These taster days are a great way of introducing school students to the hospitality profession and they are a now a big part of the Academy.”

For more information about launching a Chefs’ Forum Academy at your college, chefs wishing to join the guest lecturing team, or brands wishing to sponsor The Chefs’ Forum Academies, please email