The Chefs’ Forum hosts The Great Dorset Smoke Off!

It wasn’t so much smoke and mirrors as smoke and sparkles at the latest meeting of The Chefs’ Forum in Dorset.

Bournemouth and Poole College hosted the event, which kicked off with a Nyetimber English sparkling wine reception, accompanied by canapés prepared by students from the college under the guidance of Mark Hartstone from La Fosse restaurant.

Mark and StudentMark said “The students were a real credit to the college. They all worked very hard and created some great canapés. Bournemouth and Poole College has a reputation as one of the best colleges in the country for catering and hospitality and judging by the high calibre of these students it is easy to see why. They are a real credit to the college and I am sure that they will go on to be culinary stars of the future.”

Student with mussels canapes Student with canapesThe College is renowned for The Specialised Chef Scholarship, which is a prestigious 3 year Advanced Apprenticeship which offers the opportunity to train in all aspects of professional cookery to the highest level. The Scholarship is arranged by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and is managed by The Bournemouth & Poole College.

The College also offers full time courses including VRQ in Professional Cookery and BTEC Level 3 in Hospitality and Events. The College also offers apprenticeships for Chefs, Food & Beverage Service and Front of House Reception.

Mark and tin smokerFollowing the Nyetimber and canapé reception in the Escoffier Restaurant, guests were treated to a demonstration of different smoking techniques with Mark showcasing his ‘tin method’, taking on the market-leading Monolith Kamado Grill, and proving that great smoky flavours can also be achieved using the most basic of equipment and on a very small budget.

Mark demonstrated low-budget methods of smoking using three layers of tinfoil and a tin method.

Mark said:

“You can use these methods to smoke ingredients but the Monolith Kamado ceramic grill gives you temperature control for superior results.  I would love one in my kitchen!”

students compThe students then had the chance to show off their skills with a ‘Ready Stead Cook-style’ Smoked Canapé Competition judged by Mark Hartstone, former Michelin-starred local chef Russell Brown and ex Bournemouth Deputy Head, Charvet’s Colin Leonard.

The students were each given a Monolith Kamado-smoked duck breast, brioche, ginger, fennel, peppers, dried cranberries, cherries and Koppert Cress.

book winnerThe competition was won by 19-year-old level 3 student, Jack Wood who received a signed copy of Venison: The Game Larder by Westminster Kingsway College Lecturer Jose Souto.

RussellRussell Brown from Creative About Cuisine (formerly owner of Sienna restaurant) then performed a cookery demo with aubergine smoked on the Monolith Kamado with duck breast  with tasters for everyone to enjoy.

Christophe Baffos, Head of Hospitality and Tourism has always been a great supporter of The Chefs’ Forum and sees it of paramount importance that we invite local employers to the College so they can engage with its staff and students.

He commented:

“The Chefs’ Forum is always a great opportunity for our students and teaching staff to meet with local chefs. It underpins the knowledge that we impart to our learners by inviting professional chefs into the College to reinforce professional values such as punctuality, personal presentation and work ethics.”

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum Catherine Farinha said: “It is always wonderful to have the opportunity to bring chefs of the future together with the current stars of the industry, and to give everyone the chance to showcase their talents.

“This is the third consecutive year that we have held a Chefs’ Forum event at the College and we are delighted to say that this has been our most well-attended yet, proving the fantastic support local chefs are giving the next generation.”

“Bournemouth and Poole College has a great reputation, and today’s event has proved why. The facilities for learning are world class, and as a result the students have a real opportunity to become stars of the future.”