UK Pastry Team Captain Delivers Virtual Masterclass to Pembrokeshire College Students

The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Pembrokeshire College is going from strength to strength.  Current restrictions on chefs coming into the college mean that chefs are filming recipes masterclasses in their kitchens to, so students still get the curriculum sessions that make Pembrokeshire College the number one choice in West Wales for budding young chefs and hospitality professionals.

UK Pastry Team Captain and Pastry Sous at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford joined students at Pembrokeshire college via a live video link yesterday to create some stunning pralines.

Jamie was really pleased to have been invited to take the session on chocolate tempering as it is a real passion of his, he said

“Teaching the students how to temper chocolate and make prolines at Pembrokeshire College was really rewarding for me as I remember being really appreciative of chefs coming in to talk to work with me when I was at college.  I found it invigorating to have my tuition enhanced and reinforced by top local chefs from prominent local restaurants.  It also offered us a link into the professional kitchens and I used the masterclasses as an opportunity to secure work experience and trial shifts.”

Due to Covid-19 limitations, the chefs are unable to come into the college and teach the students in person as they normally would as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy project.  Instead, the chefs have created a fascinating film of their recipe to be shown to the students in a Microsoft Teams call with a recipe card to accompany.

The chefs join the session via a live video link to host a question and answers session with the students where they will be able to quiz the chef on their career, the recipe that has been shown to them and general insight into the industry.  The chefs also give live feedback on the students’ individual versions of the dishes they have created in the film.

This new way of learning sets out to maintain employer engagement and curriculum enrichment while restrictions remain in place.  Once these are lifted, the students can look forward to different chefs and industry experts coming into the college on a weekly basis to teach them in their usual learning environment.

The weekly Chefs’ Forum Academy masterclasses involve various local chefs and front of house professionals from all over the UK, linking up with the college to give a compelling and inspirational course of study throughout the academic year, culminating in work experience opportunities at the participating properties and businesses once students are permitted to participate in such activities again.

The teaching team at the college are delighted to welcome the guest chefs into the college to enrich students’ learning.  Many of whom are participating in The Chefs’ Forum Virtual CPD Conference that is set to continue this week.  Jamie also gave a demonstration in last week’s conference, this time in sugar work.  He was equally happy to be involved with continual professional development for college teaching staff and said

“I really enjoyed giving a demo to the lecturers, it’s good to give the lecturers a different insight to the industry because when you’re in the a college environment, it is really important to update skills and keep in touch with chefs in industry.  CPD sessions with The Chefs’ Forum offer new insights and keep hospitality and catering lecturers up to date with industry trends.  I am still friends with my lecturers in the Colchester Institute and we still chat about what’s new in the industry and current menu trends and techniques.”

Wendy Weber, Head of Health, Childcare and Commercial Enterprise said

“I coordinate The Chefs’ Forum Academy sessions at the college and it’s great that we’ve been able to adapt the way we deliver masterclasses to adhere to current Covid-19 restrictions. We have had to find new ways to deliver our curriculum enrichment sessions to ensure our students are benefitting from the best learning experience possible and having such an inspirational chef as Jamie Houghton, Captain of the UK Pastry Team, teach our students was simply fantastic.  We have been so impressed with the way in which Jamie and all of our teaching chefs have all rallied together to make this work for our students and The Chefs’ Forum Academy.  It just goes to show that they really prioritise inspiring the next generation and the future of our industry.”

The Chefs’ Forum Academy benefits the college, the students and local employers.  It is these relationships that will flourish to galvanise and support the future stars of our hospitality industry – A truly positive step in the right direction in such uncertain times.

All chefs taking part wholeheartedly support The Chefs’ Forum Academy and are looking forward to working with students at West London College as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy scheme of learning. Other chefs already signed-up to the scheme, creating compelling and inspirational masterclass films and recipe cards to accompany include  Matt Waldron (The Stackpole Inn), Douglas Balish (The Grove at Narberth)Tom Booton (The Dorchester), Dominic Teague (One Aldwych), Lisa Fearne (Y Sied Cookery School), Thomas Leatherbarrow, Chanaka Fernado (Buddha Bar), Gurpreet Dham (The Royal Lancaster), Charlie Taylor (The Westbury) and Peter Fiori (Coutts), Daniel Pearse (The Savoy) and Michael Dutnall (RAF Club)– This list is set to grow considerably as more chefs are allocated teaching dates and confirm their availability.

In normal times, the chefs would come to the college each week and take a three-hour master class to enrich the learning of the students in line with the subjects they are required to learn to achieve their qualification. Pembrokeshire College is the only college in West Wales to be working with The Chefs’ Forum Academy and this makes it an attractive choice for any young person wanting to learn from the very best chefs in the industry.

At the same time as learning new skills, cooking techniques and recipes, the students are forging relationships with the visiting chefs which will help them in their efforts to find work on leaving college as the chefs will already be familiar to them.  Many learners get offered part time work whilst still in college – This served to make them more work-ready and enables them to get work experience whilst studying – A win-win situation for all involved.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy also operates in The Manchester College, Bath College, West London College and Coleg Gwent with further colleges set to adopt this fantastic programme of curriculum enrichment later this year as part of a roll-out strategy lead by Neil Rippington, Educational Consultant at The Chefs’ Forum.

The Chefs’ Forum serves to bridge the gap between education and industry, inspiring young chefs and front-of-house professionals.

Jamie is set to deliver a series of masterclasses to all Chefs’ Forum Academy colleges over the coming weeks and months.

The Chefs’ Forum would like to invite Executive, Head and Pastry Chefs who would like to know more about the project to get in touch.  Any London hospitality employers interested in supporting the college and offering their expertise in teaching as part of The Chefs’ Forum Academy should email The Chefs’ Forum Academy Coordinator: