The Chefs’ Forum’s 3rd Birthday with Roux Scholar Paul O’Neill at Berwick Lodge
Three years after its launch, The Chefs’ Forum returned to Berwick Lodge for a day of cookery demonstrations and networking. Over eighty top chefs from Bristol and surrounds attended the busy event where Roux Scholar Paul O’Neill worked with students from City of Bristol and Weston College to showcase his delicious restaurant menu at Hattusa, Berwick’s fantastic new restaurant.
VRQ level 2 and BTEC students from City of Bristol and Weston College aided Paul and his team at Berwick in preparing and serving the canapés at the event. It is these students (Chefs and Front of House) who will be placed in apprenticeships with the employers who attended over the coming months. The event was a great chance for them to demonstrate their impressive skill sets.
All ingredients used at The Chefs’ Forum were kindly donated by Chefs’ Forum sponsors Total Produce, Walter Rose & Son and Forest Produce. It is this vital support that drives the food cost down and enables The Chefs’ Forum to stage these vital industry events.
A Nyetimber English sparkling wine reception and Monolith Kamado BBQ were also laid on for the chefs and students. The ovoid-shaped ceramic grill is powered by locally produced charcoal was used to cook a sixteen hour pork shoulder which proved a real hit with the guests.
Paul O’Neill was very impressed with the students from both Colleges, he commented:
“The students were very keen and eager to learn and a credit to their colleges, they showed every sign of being culinary stars of the future. I will be certainly sourcing my apprentices from both Bristol and Weston College and would welcome the chance to work with them on a regular basis.”
Jack Cook of Walter Rose and Sons demonstrated how to roll and tie pork. Four students and four professional chefs then tried their hand at the intricate process. Jack was so impressed with the skills displayed that he invited all participants up to his premises in Devizes for a day of butchery and farm visits.
“It was great to see so many chefs and students taking an interest in butchery – I am a fourth generation butcher and really enjoyed the chance to pass on skills I have learnt”.
BCR Associates then gave a presentation to the chefs on cost saving in their business and gave examples of how they can reduce outgoings on utilities and improving efficiency. Bristol Audi then showcased the new Audi A3 e-tron which also saves the business owner money and tax costs.
The Chefs’ Forum was founded in November 2011 and launched at Berwick Lodge in January 2012. It has since expanded to include highly accredited chefs, catering colleges and top suppliers on a South UK-wide level.
Catherine Farinha, Founder of The Chefs’ Forum and event organiser stated:
“It is wonderful that we are revisiting our stunning launch venue to commemorate an extremely successful three years. We have forged valuable links between the catering colleges and top chefs in our outstanding local restaurant scene. Communication between the two entities is now effortless and this will lead to the next generation of top chefs learning from the very best in the business.”
The Chefs’ Forum plans to roll out to Wales this March working with prestigious industry organisations to facilitate this.
Photography by Jon Craig: www.joncraig.co.uk