The Most Stylish Chefs’ Forum Event Yet – Cocktails & Canapés at Harvey Nichols in Bristol

The most stylish Chefs’ Forum event yet took place on Monday (February 1).

Top chefs, hospitality students and suppliers gathered at Harvey Nichols in Bristol for an elegant evening of cocktails and canapés.

Louise McCrimmon Head ChefAssisted by students from Weston College and City of Bristol College, Harvey Nichols’ head chef Louise McCrimmon prepared some delicious canapés for guests to enjoy.

Students preparing canapes 2Louise said: “This was the first time I have worked with The Chefs’ Forum and it was a real pleasure to have these young people in the kitchen – The team and I loved working with them. They did a fantastic job and were all a real credit to their colleges. I am excited to see what they go on to do in the future.

“It is so lovely to see so many people here and to have this room full of people from the industry – It was great to catch up with friends old and new.”

Louise and Students Chicken ButcheryAfter everyone had enjoyed the drinks and canapes, and had had a chance to network Louise demonstrated a dish of salmon, white cabbage and blood orange from the award-winning restaurant menu, using a CookTek induction hob from MCS.

Students then went head to head in a competition to prepare a chicken for sauté. The winners were Ashley Pincombe and Jack Griffiths from Weston College who won a trip to the award-winning Walter Rose Butchers in Devizes and a day in the kitchen with Louise and the team at Harvey Nichols – This will look fantastic on their CVs as work experience.

James cocktail makingAssistant restaurant and bar manager James Penson then gave an extremely entertaining cocktail masterclass with matching canapes. James demonstrated how to make a traditional latino Pisco Sour, which was paired with a sublime ceviche, and a Somerset Star – a regional take on a ‘Star’ using Somerset brandy which was accompanied by a Somerset rarebit.

Students then showed what they had learned from James with a cocktail making competition, with each challenged to make a Pisco Sour.

Cocktail making comp winner Bradley Ponting of City of Bristol CollegeThe winner was City of Bristol College Student Bradley Ponting who won the chance to attend a cocktail masterclass with James at Harvey Nichols…after his 18th birthday this May.

The event culminated with a juice tasting with Miles Bradley from Bradley’s Juices.

Miles tastingMiles explained how Bradley’s Juices are made from single variety apples, making them different from most juices on the market, and guests had the opportunity to taste three different varieties.

Adrian Kirikmaa, Restaurant and Chef Manager at City of Bristol College, commented: “There is a major skills shortage in Bristol for restaurant and kitchen work. We want to inspire and nurture our next generation of top chefs and these events offer an excellent opportunity to showcase our students work and allow learners to work with top chefs, restaurateurs and potential employers.”

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum, Catherine Farinha, said: “This has been a fantastic evening and it is great to have learners from two local colleges coming together, speaking and learning from one another.

“Thank you to all the sponsors who supported the event, especially those who have supported The Chefs’ Forum since the beginning.”

Photography by Andrew Plant: