Top London Chefs Inspire Next Generation of Talent at West London’s College!

On Monday (23) April, six of London’s most highly-skilled chefs helped 40 young people serve up a mouth-watering meal for 70 extremely discerning diners in one of London’s leading catering colleges.  Nearly £900 was raised to support young people with travel costs in accessing work experience, essential equipment and helping colleges to fund employer trips and visits.

West London’s College opened its teaching kitchens 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.

Celebrity and renowned chefs who have worked with the award-winning college include Brian Turner who opened The Taste restaurant, Jamie Oliver when he launched the first cohort of Fifteen learners and Gordon Ramsay in filming the first series of Hell’s Kitchen at the college.Daniele Codini and Chris Wheeler

The Chefs’ Forum bridges the gap between industry and education and by hosting it for the second time, 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.

Head of Hospitality Denise Charles stated

“We are delighted to be hosting our second Chefs’ Forum event at the college.  Our partnership with the organisation has seen many of our students securing work experience and jobs on the back of showcasing their skills at quarterly events.  The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation has agreed to fund a trip for our students to compete in Young Seafood Chef of The Year – This funding is a great help and its wonderful to see industry people supporting lunches like this to facilitate the raising of vital funds to enrich our students’ learning experience.”

Stefano CiliaStefano starterGuiding the students from West London’s College on the day were Carlos Martinez and Stefano Cilia from Chucs (Harrods) on the starter.  Carlos and Stefano arrived at the college early to create slow cooked pork belly, Granny Smith & lime texture, sweet & sour mustard seeds, salt & caramel hazelnut and gooseberries.

Daniele Codini Fish CourseDaniele Codini from The Ned prepared a stunning fish course of Turbot with hazelnut crumb, asparagus, fregola and clams.

Chris Wheeler meat courseAHDB British beef and lamb ambassador Chris Wheeler (Stoke Park) prepared the meat course.  The 23rd April marks the beginning of British Beef Week and Karl Pendlebury (AHDB Senior Manager Quality Schemes) attended to fly the flag for English Beef, this time from Stokes Marsh Farm (Wiltshire) supplied by Quality Standard Mark (QSM) Member Walter Rose & Sons.

Karl said

“British Beef Week is a huge event in the culinary calendar.  It is great to have QSML-R - Karl Pendlebury - Catherine Farinha - Chris Wheeler Ambassador Chris Wheeler incorporating our fabulous domestic produce in his dish of Roast Fillet of QSM beef with Marmite oxtail ragout, watercress purée, charred spring onion, potato and trompette mushroom terrine.”

Biju Joshwa DessertBiju Joshwa (Sheraton Park Lane) worked with the students to create strawberry whipped ganache, lime Chantilly, créme fraiche ice cream and meringues for dessert.

Biju JoshwaLeading chef wear designer Bragard supplied fabulous Chefs’ Forum branded Grand Chef jackets, to make the chefs look very smart indeed.

Presiding at the occasion ‘front of house’ was Restaurant Manager and hospitality lecturer Sylvain Auger leading a team of fifteen level one students.

Sylvain said

“I love events like these where employers meet my students because it prepares my students to be work ready and its reassuring for them to hear the same messages from professionals as I impart on them every day.  Today has been a fantastic experience for our students.  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.”

All ingredients and drinks for the lunch were kindly sponsored by Koppert Cress, M&J Seafood, Walter Rose & Son and First Choice Produce.  Diners were asked to contribute only what they were able to The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation, making this high-profile event and excellent cuisine accessible to all chefs, regardless of income.

Stefano Cilia left and Daniele Codini rightTogether, the chefs and students created and served a four-course meal for around 70 professionals from the catering industry who were all there to get in touch with the next generation of talent whilst catching up with their peers and suppliers.

Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha concluded:

 “We launched the London Chefs’ Forum in London back in 2014.  It is fantastic to return to the capital three years later to work with a 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 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 West London’s College, this Chefs’ Forum event is an excellent opportunity to build on important networks and partnerships in the hospitality and catering industry.”

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