VIPs and Chefs Celebrate New Bakery Kitchen at The Manchester College’s Harpurhey Campus

MPs, local councillors and other important invited guests enjoyed a special dinner at The Manchester College on Tuesday to launch the new bakery kitchen.

The dinner, held in the Harpurhey Campus Restaurant, was arranged and created by The Chefs’ Forum Academy in partnership with culinary students enrolled at the college.

Four chefs cooked individual courses aided by students: Darren Cooper, Exose Grant, Doug Crampton and Daniel Aladics were in the kitchen.

John Thornhill, CEO of the LTE Group welcomed the distinguished guests to the event and told them of the fantastic progress made in growing and developing high level opportunities for skilled and specialist talent, being honed by the college.

He said

“Giving our students the opportunity to work with top local employers really raises their aspirations.  We have seen three of our students make it to the national final of Pastry Chef of the Year and others being offered jobs by many of the employers here this evening.  I am delighted to be here and so pleased with the relentless support network offered to the college by everyone here this evening.”

Principal Lisa O’Loughlin co-hosted the evening with John and dubbed Manchester, the ‘new Manhattan’ as she lauded the growth and success of the city, praising the chefs and students who cooked the fantastic dinner and thanked the local Councilors for coming

She said

“We really have a great partnership with The Chefs’ Forum, that has seen many of our students secure fantastic jobs on the back of the weekly masterclasses in our training kitchens – It is a true escalator to success.  At Manchester College, we are proud to create careers, not just courses and the work we are doing is so clearly working for all involved.”

“The evening was a great example of how The Chefs’ Forum Academy and The Manchester College have been working together,” said Chefs’ Forum director Catherine Farinha. “It was all so seamless because the students are used to working with our chefs and vice versa. What we are beginning to see is the fruit of all the hard work we’ve put in. We’ve established a genuine culinary corridor from college through to professional kitchens across the city.”

The chefs and students were all delighted to take part and this was so apparent by their obvious pride and passion displayed both through the delicious food they produced and even more so when the chefs were asked to talk guests through their dishes at the end of the evening.

Doug Crampton, Head Chef at James Martin Manchester, said: “My dish of elderflower glazed duck came out perfectly. It was the first time that the students had prepped a whole duck, but they did an excellent job and broke it down exactly as they were shown. The students were all enthusiastic and keen which was great to see and we shared a good bond in the kitchen. These evenings really demonstrate college and industry working together.”

However, it wasn’t just food on display. There was music, too, by Lowkey Limit, who sang specially created music designed for The Chefs’ Forum Taster Day held recently at the Harpurhey Campus for 300 students from local feeder schools.  This was a great opportunity for the guests to see first-hand the ways in which the college uses hugely creative and thoughtful ways to engage with young people.

The guests were very impressed with the evening and were highly complimentary on the whole event.

As we work together for longer and longer, it’s easy to see what the benefits are of being a Chefs’ Forum Academy and evenings like this sum it up.

The students had a wonderful experience; They worked with top ingredients, served local VIPs and worked alongside award-winning chefs.

Any Manchester chefs wishing to get involved in teaching in The Chefs’ Forum Academy at The Manchester College should email