The Chefs’ Forum Celebrates Huge Success in Virtual CPD Conference!

It was a fantastic event, providing four afternoons of superb content, spread over the last two weeks.  It served as a platform to explore and discuss a variety of highly topical issues, all with the common aim of facilitating college lecturers’ participation in Continuing Professional Development or CPD.

The ninety-five delegates from catering colleges all over the UK were also treated to sample some exceptional produce whilst learning key information and provenance relating to the products, and enjoyed a range of outstanding demonstrations; all of this through a screen and keyboard!

Day one opened with Jamie’s fascinating and highly-skilled demonstration, producing a world-class sugar ribbon, followed by Philli and Chris’ debate on the necessity for business operations to be added to future culinary education curriculum

A highly engaging and entertaining insight to Peter’s world of front of house development and management and Deri’s inspirational story of his sustainable and ethical restaurant ‘The Warren’, followed, providing excellent examples of contemporary approaches to restaurant management. This also explored the development of a business’s culture, the importance of staff sharing the vision as well as issues around social responsibility.

Headline sponsors of the CPD Conference, International Culinary Studio, joined the topical blended learning session to demonstrate the use of their blended learning solution. Ingrid and Cheryl would be very pleased to spend more time with colleagues to fully introduce the system and how this can be tailored and white-labelled to a college’s bespoke requirements. If you haven’t already, please get in contact to arrange an appointment to further explore the potential of this exciting platform.

Rounding up the first week, Biju indulged us with an outstanding demonstration of his ‘Brio-Mac-Cookie’, leaving us all drooling! You could ‘virtually’ taste its deliciousness! it was a fascinating opening two days.

Week two was equally inspiring. We tasted and explored the ethical sourcing, characteristics, and versatility of macadamia nuts with Andrew and his family at Nutcellars. Hayden supported with an excellent demonstration and recipe utilising macadamia, also featuring the outstanding venison, supplied by Curtis Pitts.

Neil Rippington was joined by my ex-colleague, Jody Seaton (Director of Learning Support/Maths and English) to examine the challenges of embedding maths and English into the hospitality/culinary curriculum. The development of a planning tool was investigated alongside examples of tools and activities to embed the subject. This is another area where it is important to share best practice and Neil believes that we could dedicate a full day to explore the subject further.

On the final day of the conference, Honey Sommelier, Sarah Wyndham Lewis, introduced us to the properties of raw artisan honey, its production, flavour profiles and an intuitive tasting masterclass. Paul (Koppert Cress) delivered a session exploring the unique flavour profiles, medical benefits and innovative uses of cresses and leaves in products and recipes. Hayden and I explored ways in which industry and education can work more closely together to develop future curriculum. I think this session created great debate and scope for further investigation, but also the reassurance of great examples of chefs/industry and education currently working together. However, the evolvement of the curriculum remains a challenging and diverse issue to take forward.

To draw the curtain on the conference, Curtis provided us with a masterclass in game in which he broke down a carcass of venison, alongside a discussion on responsible sourcing with Annette Woolcock from Taste of Game. Curtis amazed and inspired us with his passion, knowledge and skill. It was a brilliant end to the conference programme.

Huge thanks go out to all the guest speakers for their highly skilled and knowledgeable contributions. In challenging circumstances, they all did a magnificent job and the enthusiasm for the subjects discussed was as uplifting as it was reassuring.

Having received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Conference Delegates, The Chefs’ Forum is now staging three, more in-depth CPD events in Game Butchery, Front of House Skills and Chocolate.  Full details will be released next week.

In the meantime, should you require any further information on how to get involved in future CPD events, please email