Taking the Initiative at Raja Monkey

Birmingham’s Raja Monkey is hosted a lunch yesterday to celebrate Chef Patron Munayam Khan becoming Patron of the Chefs’ Forum Academy at South & City College, Birmingham.

Owner and chef Munayam Khan, of the Lasan Group, a former winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Fword, is committed to engaging and mentoring the next generation of chefs and has supported The Chefs’ Forum since its launch in Birmingham in 2016.

The day served as a double celebration as The Chefs’ Forum firmly-launched its recent publication, The Chefs’ Knowledge – A Modern Culinary Repertoire, a book of 100 recipes all junior and student chefs need to know.  Munayam contributed various recipes to the book, passing on his in-depth knowledge of Indian cuisine from all parts of the Indian subcontinent.

“It’s all about eating to make a difference,” Khan told us. “I want to show students and young people where food comes from and to head-up The Chefs’ Forum Academy at my local catering college is a real honour. We’re looking to increase awareness of provenance, traceability and sustainability coupled with trips to farms and fresh produce markets for students. We’re also keen on teaching business studies to all hospitality students as well as employer engagement and curriculum enrichment. This lunch is our way of introducing ourselves to the current student year and we really hope to make a difference.”

Munayam believes that it is really important to give back to the industry.  He champions sharing his knowledge and nurturing the next generation of culinary talent.

Aussie Beef and Lamb was showcased in both the starter and the main course and Munayam was so impressed with the quality of the produce that he would love to feature it on the menu at Raja Monkey.  Stephen Edwards, Business Manager UK, Meat & Livestock Australia said

“The beef and lamb is from Thomas Foods International, it’s Augus Pure Branded beef that has been grain-fed for 150 days resulting in fantastic marbling, this also ensures the beef is more consistent quality.” The Lamb is a pasture raised product that comes to the UK as a chilled product.”

The sponsorship of ingredients by fantastic suppliers enables The Chefs’ Forum to stage these inspirational industry networking events.  It is very important for hospitality and culinary professionals to get together on a regular basis over excellent food to discuss the industry and forge relationships with the college and top suppliers alike.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “It’s really important for us to work with committed partners like Raja Monkey and Munayam Khan. His engaging personality and knowledge of restaurants will really help students to see how far they can take their craft when it’s coupled with extra-curricular activities like this.”

 What was on the lunch menu?

The students from South and City College Birmingham, were a mix of Level 2 and 3, VRQ diploma in Professional Cookery, it was the first time that they have participated in an external Chefs’ Forum event.  Their teacher, Rochelle Bailey and Ben West accompanied the students to the event, Rochelle said

“This is an excellent and exciting opportunity for our students to get some real hands-on work experience of a high-profile industry function.  It is really important that they see how a professional kitchen operates.  For our front of house learners, it is a real opportunity for them to showcase their skills to local prospective employers.”

Level 1 Front of House student Gregoria Moreno impressed the most on the day, winning a signed copy of The Chefs’ Knowledge, she said

“I’m so very excited and happy to have won a copy of this brilliant book, I absolutely love cooking and cannot wait to try out some of the recipes. I have had a brilliant experience at Raja Monkey today and cannot wait to come back for the further work experience that has been offered to me by Munayam and the team.”

We are incredibly grateful to Munayam and the team for hosting such a marvellous event, bringing together the cream of culinary talent in Birmingham.  Special thanks to all of our sponsors for making these events possible: