The Chefs’ Forum and Tramontana Brindisa inspire London’s Next Generation of Young Chefs

On Monday (11) April, students from the University of West London and Hit Training, got to work alongside Brindisa chefs, Josep Carbonell and Leo Rivera, to showcase the very best in modern Spanish cuisine at the latest Chefs’ Forum event at Tramontana Brindisa in Curtain Road, Shoreditch.

The Chefs’ Forum is a UK-wide networking group for leading chefs, suppliers and catering students aimed at bridging the gap between industry and education to inspire the next generation of young chefs.

Buñuelos_de_viento_–_with_dipping_chocolate[1]Led by Josep and Leo, the aspiring young chefs created a selection of modern tapas, using local authentic Spanish produce for the 90 culinary experts arriving at midday.  The bite sized delights included:

Jack_Cook_Walter_Rose_and_son[1]Seafood_Fideua[1]Highlights from the afternoon’s event included live demonstrations of Tramontana Brindisa’s signature dish, Seafood Fideua, guided sherry tasting and food matching as well as a tortilla cooking competition for the students to show off their culinary talents. Jack Cook from Walter Rose & Son then performed an impressive butchery demonstration, breaking down a whole side of pork. Guests were also treated to a Spanish cheese tasting by Brindisa’s product development and training expert James Robinson.

Competition_winners_Michaela_Ephrain-Herman_(20)_and_Shannon_Cato_(19)[1]The competition was jointly won by Michaela Ephrain-Herman (20) and Shannon Cato (19), who received an experiential prize of a trip to Barcelona to work with Josep Brindisa’s Spanish restaurant, La Bellvitja and see the amazing Boqueria Market!

Commenting on the event, Brindisa Tapas Kitchens Executive Chef, Josep Carbonell said: “The Students were brilliant today and really impressed me with their culinary skills. This is the first time I have worked with The Chefs’ Forum and I feel that it is invaluable for our industry. It’s a great opportunity to give something back and use my experience to inspire the next generation of budding young chefs – I can’t wait for the Barcelona trip!”Josep_Carbonell[1]

Joint-winner Shannon Cato, Level 3 student at the University of West London said:
“Today has been a great way for us to meet employers. It was great to learn about Spanish Gastronomy today, working with authentic Spanish ingredients.  It was really interesting to be shown how to make a tortilla and see just how precise chefs are with their food preparation. It’s been a very rewarding and fun experience – I am so excited to be going to Spain, it will be an experience of a lifetime.”

Janet Rowson, Head of Professional Skills Academy, University of West London said:
“We’re delighted to be part of the London Chefs’ Forum. It has given the leaners hands on experience working with Spanish chefs and produce. It also gives them an insight into the business side of a successful brand that now has five sites across the Capital. Today has taught them that although the food is obviously important, there are other aspects to consider while running a restaurant, such as the social, business and managerial elements of the industry.”

The Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha concluded:
“We’ve had a fantastic experience here at Tramontana Brindisa. Josep, Leo and the team have been a joy to work with and a real inspiration to the learners and students from Hit Training and the University of West London.  I have received a great deal of positive feedback from chefs and learners alike which is extremely rewarding.  Spanish Gastronomy proved a real hit with our members and I look forward to many more London events as The Chefs’ Forum continues to flourish.”

Photography by Russell Brown: