Top Chefs Mentor Next Generation of Talent from West London’s College, Raising Vital Funds to help Young Chefs entering Industry!

On Monday (5) February, four of London’s most highly-skilled chefs helped young chefs from West London’s College serve up a mouth-watering meal for 70 extremely discerning diners in one of the most famed catering colleges in the country.  Nearly £2000 was raised to support young people with travel costs in accessing work experience in the hospitality industry.  The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation also sponsors essential equipment and helps colleges to fund employer trips, visits and feeder school travel to college events.

studentsWest London’s College opened up its teaching kitchens and Taste Restaurant to the cream of the culinary profession on Monday to host a fundraising lunch for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation CIC – An organisation incorporated by Catherine Farinha and Alexandra Duncan in October 2016 to raise vital funds to help disadvantaged young people to enter the hospitality business, by linking them up with employers and providing essential support and equipment.

Gulu and DipnaThe Chefs’ Forum bridges the gap between industry and education and by hosting the Chefs’ Lunch in what is now the seventh year of The Chefs’ Forum. West London’s College underlined its commitment to the initiative in inspiring young chefs, enriching their learning and forging strong links with leading employers within the industry.

Guiding the college students on the day were Tom Booton (Alyn Williams at The Westbury) on the starter, GalSake and Beyond Cocktailton Blackiston on the fish course, Dipna Anand on the main course and Jesse Dunford Wood on the dessert.

The menu was absolutely delicious with the chefs all showcasing signature dishes to their professional peers as well as the students.

Sake & Beyond provided a delicious sake cocktail as a welcome drink as guests networked and spoke to top suppliers in a mini trade show.

As guests were seated, Mark Dodsworth from Olivence talked them through the fabulous array of French olive oils for them to try on the tables.

TomTom’s starter of beetroot, smoked eel and homemade ricotta went down a storm as Tom explained that he makes his own ricotta every morning with the team and menu ideas are a combined effort.  He brought his sous chef Charlie Tayler with him to work with the students.

Tom said

“I was very impressed with the students today and have really enjoyed my time here at the college.  I would happily welcome work experience candidates into my kitchen based on their performance today.  I very much look forward to continuing to work with the college and The Chefs’ Forum.”

Galton BlackistonNext to present his dish was Galton Blackiston of the Michelin-starred Morston Hall (Norfolk).  As Bragard UK Brand Ambassador 2019, Galton was delighted to participate in the lunch and was highly complimentary about the Chefs’ Forum branded jackets that were issued to the chefs for the event.  He was extremely pleased with the plaice fillet supplied by Fish For Thought and his dish encompassing leek and chanterelle étuvée and shallot puree with a champagne and caviar sauce, made the room fall silent as the guests cleaned their plates!

Dipna's CurryFather and daughter team, Gulu and Dipna Anand of Brilliant Restaurant cooked a delicious butter chicken main course, showcasing Walter Rose chicken.  Gulu and Dipna told the room of the heritage of the restaurant and the history of North Indian cuisine.  The Indian Masterchefs said that they thoroughly enjoyed the day and look forward to continuing to work with the college.

Dessert took the form of an interactive, multi-sensory dining experience.  Jesse Dunford Wood of Parlour Restaurant covered a long table in Prowrap foil, then wowed the crowds with a demonstration of his multi-sensory dessert which gives diners an interactive experience using music and sounds played through the speaker system.  Jesse’s ‘Willy Wonka-esque’ grand finale to a fantastic day of knowledge-sharing and networking was nothing short of sensational and the Mary Poppins sound track proved a real hit with the culinary experts!Jesse desset

All ingredients and drinks for the lunch were kindly sponsored by Koppert Cress, Fish For Thought, Walter Rose & Son, First Choice Produce, Ritter Courivaud and Santa Maria.

Denise Charles, Head of Curriculum for Service Industries stated:

“Today has been an amazing experience for our students.  They love to work with different chefs and learning new cooking techniques.  The food was superb and it was a great opportunity to showcase our students’ professionalism and skills.  I would like to thank The Chefs’ Forum for making today a great success and inspiring our students.”

Tom with studentsCatherine Farinha, Chefs’ Forum Founder added:

“We have been working with Denise and West London’s College for four years now.  It is great to have so many fantastic chefs here today with the common purpose of enriching students’ learning.  It is fantastic to return to the College for the fourth time to stage an event with another new cohort of students and the next generation of top chefs.  The chefs and students did a fantastic job today, they really stepped up to the task and it’s so important that we nurture and support the next generations of hospitality professionals. It’s important they have the opportunity to work with industry on the practical side, as well as on theory. For the students who took part today, this event was an excellent opportunity to build on important networks and partnerships in the hospitality and catering industry.”

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