The Devon Chefs’ Lunch at South Devon College

Devon chefs might be more used to spending time in the kitchen, but at the most recent meeting of The Chefs’ Forum, the assembled chefs had the chance to sit back and relax for a change as they tucked into a delicious lunch.

The event was held on Monday, November 14, at South Devon College in Paignton, and it gave the catering and hospitality students at the college the opportunity to work with some of the region’s top chefs.Rebecca Mitchell

Guests were able to meet some top suppliers as they enjoyed a Devon Gin and Fever Tree tonic reception before sitting down to a meal prepared by and all-star line-up of with the help of the students.

Tolchards Drinks kindly sponsored the welcome drink and wine flight, expertly narrated by Rebecca Mitchell, CMS Certified Sommelier & WSET Wine Educator.

Dez StarterThe meal began with Group Executive Chef Dez Turland cooking a fantastic starter of Chilli Con Carne (not as we know it) showcasing Santa Maria Cacao and Chilli salt beef with pumpkin, onions, avocado and sour Cream.

A spectacular fish course by the legendary Peter Gorton, Masterchef of GreaPeter Fish Courset Britain and International Restaurant Consultant then followed.  Peter cooked Salmon with Sweet Wasabi Sauce and a Crab Croquette.  Peter invited Aaron Vanstone of The Falcon Hotel in Bude where he’s currently doing consultancy to cook with him.  Peter kindly secured the sponsorship of S&J Fisheries for the fish.

Mark Meat CourseCooking the main course was Michelin-starred Mark Dodson of The Masons Arms with a delicious breast of duck with fig and cranberries, spinach and potato fondant.  This hearty and sumptuous dish was a real hit with the visiting chefs.

Sam DessertSamuel Brook of Paschoe House rounded-off an excellent lunch with his version of the best chocolate bar he could imagine.  He treated the guests to his version of chocolate and hazelnut and the room fell silent while the chefs and industry experts tucked in!

Sam MacCuaig of Clifton Coffee served-up the finest house filter (version two) from Peru as the perfect end to the perfect lunch.

Karen Dorow, Head of Hospitality, Catering and Travel & Tourism at South Devon College said:

Sam and student“Having The Chefs’ Forum here is a massive privilege; we have supported the forum at several events already, having so many industry professionals here at the college gives us the opportunity to showcase the talent and professionalism of our teaching team, our students and our outstanding facility.

Dez and studentAs a college we continue to work closely with industry bodies and employers to develop our curriculum offer, and be proactive with industry needs working to keep South Devon College a principal training provider. Our students’ professional development is enhanced by working in Horizon’s Restaurant, through partnering activities, local industry events and culinary competitions, achieving exceptional results and outstanding customer feedback.

Our interesting and varied menus are prepared and served by tomorrow’s chefs, waiters and waitresses under the expert guidance of a first class teaching team. This is a chance to spot the up and coming stars of the future!”

Peter with studentPeter Gorton added:
“I very much enjoyed working with the students today. They were a credit to the college and showed a great deal of promise. I am confident that they will all have a bright future in the industry.”

Mark Dodson Concluded:
“It was a pleasure to be able to share some of my skills and knowledge with these young people.  The future of the industry depends on these students and based on the talent I saw today, I think it is in very safe hands.”

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum Catherine Farinha said:
Group FOH“The Chefs’ Forum was created with the aim of making a positive change in the hospitality industry. It aims to connect chefs with education, suppliers with chefs and education with suppliers to help the industry unite and work towards the shared goal of showcasing the incredible talent we have here in industry whilst raising money for young chefs via The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation.

Today’s event has proved just how much can be achieved when chefs, suppliers and students all work together, and I hope that everyone who attended would agree that it is inspiring to see.


Group chefs shotI would particularly like to thank all the sponsors who supported the event, especially Total Produce, Koppert Cress, Two Brothers Foods, Tolchards Drinks, Santa Maria and S&J Fisheries who provided the ingredients for the fabulous dishes.

Without our sponsors none of this would be possible.”

Photography by: