Sustainability On The Menu with Deri Reed via The Chefs’ Forum Academy

The Chefs’ Forum is pleased to announce an ongoing partnership with Deri Reed of The Warren in Wales. Reed is fast becoming one of the pioneering champions of sustainability in restaurants and last year picked up the prestigious chef of the year awards organised by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Reed is working with The Chefs’ Forum at Pembrokeshire College, Coleg Gwent and Bath College and bringing home the message of sustainability to the next generation of college graduates who, he hopes, will carry on what he has started.  The Chefs’ Forum runs five academies in colleges nationally and is currently running a series of weekly masterclasses to enrich the learning of the students.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy is a valuable learning resource that facilitates students and teaching staff working with high profile industry employers to showcase new recipes and transcend experience and knowledge.  This all counts towards work experience while restrictions remain in place.

“I believe we all have a responsibility to protect our environment,” he says on his website. “I am happy to support groups raising awareness on environment issues.  I was very pleased to be asked to give a guest lecture in Pembrokeshire College and really enjoyed working with the students to make choux pastry from scratch, creating delicious chocolate eclairs.  It will be great to meet the students in Coleg Gwent and Bath College via video link and in person in their teaching kitchens once restrictions permit.  In the meantime, we will do our level best to enhance and support their learning experience remotely.”

Sustainability is an important issue with the whole food chain from suppliers right down to chefs and back to farmers and it is vital that we emphasise the importance of this with regards to sourcing suppliers and provenance to the next generation of chefs.

Deri prides himself on curating only the most sustainable suppliers including Blaencamel Organic Farm, Watson & Pratts, Rhosyn farm, Hazelwell Organic Beef Farm, Cwm Farm Dairy, Calon Wen and Suma Wholefoods.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association said of Reed

“Deri opened The Warren with the mission to leave the environment and customers’ health in a better place than if it had never opened. He created a restaurant built by the community, starting with a £20,000 crowdfunding campaign, and for the community, realising his dream of running a restaurant showcasing quality, mostly organic, Welsh produce at affordable prices.
In an area where meat is a mainstay, Deri has profited from marketing vegetarian and vegan options. Deri’s dream has been achieved, and with it, the local farmers and diners have benefitted hugely.”

Catherine Farinha said of working with Reed

“For our colleges, sustainability is a huge issue and runs through everything taught in the curriculum and in the operational strategy of the colleges.  The teaching staff and students are delighted to be working with Deri, both in person and virtually via video link in colleges where restrictions mean no visitors on campus.  Deri taught in Pembrokeshire College in person before the latest restrictions, creating choux pastry with the students.  He will now join Coleg Gwent and Bath College via video link to talk about his sustainability policies and winning the coveted Sustainable Chef of the Year!”

Wendy Weber, Head of Health, Childcare and Commercial Enterprise at Pembrokeshire College was delighted with Deri’s session at the college, she said

“The students really enjoyed the session with Deri.  Pastry is so popular, so it was great to be able to invite a professional chef and local employer into the college to give a socially distanced masterclass.  Tightened restrictions mean that we now have to move to a virtual session for the next week, but The Chefs’ Forum have amassed a fantastic library of learning resources for us to continue our curriculum enrichment sessions via video link with excellent recipe cards from the chefs to accompany.”

The Chefs’ Forum will continue to carry colleges through this difficult period, affording them access to some of the most exclusive operations in the UK while restrictions are in place.  The chefs are doing a fantastic job of supporting the colleges in cooking recipes and producing films to accompany recipe cards and connecting with the students via Microsoft Teams for a live Q&A session.

Here’s a film about The Chefs’ Forum Academy at West London College and what it means to the teaching team as well as the students.

Any colleges, brands or chefs interested in learning more should contact Rebecca Saunders