The Chefs’ Forum Academy Returns to The Manchester College

Students at The Manchester College Industry Excellence Academy for Hospitality & Catering enjoyed their first Chefs’ Forum Academy session of the year.

Level 2 Culinary Skills  students took part in a masterclass with Duncan Dickinson, Head Chef and Managing Director at Herb and Spice Catering.

Duncan challenged the students to make a dish of roasted duck breast with blackberry and plum compote, served with creamed potatoes and spinach. After watching Duncan’s live demonstration, the students produced impressive results under his watchful eye.

“It was a nice little challenge and they’ve done really well,” Duncan said. “I enjoyed it and I was very impressed with them. All of their dishes looked really good and everybody added their own different spin on it.”

Duncan also took part in a Q+A with the students, who quizzed him on his career and how to have a successful and rewarding career in the industry.

Student Zac Penfold said: “I found today very interesting. I don’t cook with duck often, so it was eye-opening to try new things. I’ve really enjoyed the Chefs’ Forum Academy and learning from lots of different chefs. I’m looking forward to doing more of it.

“My course is helping me to work more efficiently in the kitchen and improve my knife skills. My tutor, Andrew, has also helped me with employability skills.”

“Next year I hope to progress to Level 3 at Openshaw and in the future, I hope to get a job at restaurant in Manchester city centre.”

The Manchester College’s partnership with The Chefs’ Forum provides Hospitality & Catering students with unrivalled access to the UK’s most inspirational culinary experts. To date, students have worked with more than 70 industry professionals as part of the weekly academy sessions.

Liz Peters, Assistant Principal for Services and Retail Industry, added: “The work that we do with the Chefs’ Forum is amazing. It gives our learners the opportunity to connect with industry and get real, live work experience with employers and benefit from sessions with very experienced professionals.

“They get to see state-of-the-art cooking and the learners will quickly pick up from that. And of course, if the learners do well, the chef may offer some work placements.”

Any local hospitality employers (within one hour radius of Manchester) interested in supporting the college and offering their expertise in teaching as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy should email