University College Birmingham hosted Midlands Chefs’ Forum Launch!

The Chefs’ Forum launched its Birmingham & Midlands Chapter at University College Birmingham on the 20th February 2017. Roux Scholar 2016, Harry Guy, Michelin-starred, Simpsons Restaurant Head Chef, Nathan Eades and Masterchef Professionals finalist Mark Stinchcombe with his wife, Sue Stinchcombe, joint Head Chefs at Eckington Manor (Pershore) all worked with the UCB students to produce a magnificent banquet for the top chefs who attended.

Nathan Eades with studentsThis event signified a huge event in the Birmingham Hospitality industry, a bringing-together of the very best professionals in the business to inspire and enthuse the next generation of chefs and hospitality professionals at what has been described by Marco Pierre White as the “Ferrari of catering colleges!” The college of food has benefited through annual refurbishment and upgrades to ensure that it remains a state of the art facility.

Harry Guy_Catherine Farinha_UCB studentThe Brasserie Restaurant at the University proved the perfect venue for the very first Chefs’ Forum event – A fund raising lunch in aid of industry charity, Hospitality Action.

Neil Rippington, Dean of The College of Food at University College Birmingham stated:
“The teaching team and I are delighted to host this inaugural event and hope to catch up with friends and local industry heroes old and new. It was great to see so many enthusiastic chefs and high quality Neil Rippington Dean of The College of Foodsuppliers in attendance today. The students have greatly enjoyed working with such high calibre chefs and we look forward to being involved in quarterly Chefs’ Forum events in Birmingham from now on – Moving forward, we would like UCB to be a hub for The Chefs’ Forum in Birmingham”.

Starter by Harry GuyThe brigade of acclaimed chefs cooked a fantastic four course lunch comprising of a Brindisa Spanish Fine Foods Sharing Platter to start, then Harry Guy’s fish course of Confit Loch Duart Salmon, Turnip, Granny Smith Apple and Tarragon.

Nathan Eades, Head Chef at Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant (Edgebaston) relished the opportunity to cook the main course with the young chefs at the college saying, “It is great to work with the young people at the college. I want to show them that we are very approachable and that as a result of a successful trial shift, a job as a chef in a Michelin-starred is absolutely achievable. The team of students working with me today were very talented and had a great attitude. Based on their performance today I would love to welcome them to Simpsons on work experience.”

Main Course by Nathan EadesLasharna Miller (18) was one of the students working with Nathan to produce his delicious main course of ox cheek, parsley root puree, confit leeks, fermented mushrooms and beef sauce. It is Lasharna’s ambition to work in a Michelin Kitchen one day and today’s event gave her a real insight into the level of skill required in such high-level cookery.

Lasharna said:
“It was really inspirational to work with Nathan today. I am really pleased that he has invited me to come into his kitchen for work experience. We talked about different menus that they do at Simpsons and I really got a great insight as to what to expect from working in a fine dining Michelin-starred restaurant which is my dream I hope to realise one day.”

Dessert by Sue and Mark StinchcombeMark and Sue Stinchcombe rounded of a fabulous day with their excellent dessert of Poached Rhubarb and Hibiscus, Egg Custard with Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet. This amazing dessert looked too good to eat and the room fell silent as the guests tucked in and polished it off! Mark and Sue already have Scott Wilkinson (18) a Level 3 UCB student working in their cookery school.

Sue Stinchcombe with studentsSue said:
“It’s great to be at the college today with Scotty and his peers, it gives us a chance to work with the students and show them what we’re doing in industry. I see it as a fantastic opportunity to build that bridge between what they are learning at college and coming into the real world of work.”

The Chefs’ Forum will hold quarterly events in Birmingham from now on and any chefs or front of house professionals wishing to get involved should contact

Photography by

Watch us on Made in Birmingham TV: