Weston College Chefs’ Forum Academy Delegates Get to Grips with Low Temperature Cookery

Sous vide cookery is used by top chefs in professional kitchens across the globe. Weston College shares its town with one of the global market leaders in the manufacture of Water baths: Nickel Electro.

Not only is Nickel Electro’s Clifton Food Range, orange-handled water baths  often seen on Masterchef, Great British Menu and the recent cheffy cinema blockbuster, ‘Burnt’, the baths are also manufactured a stone’s-throw from the college on the Oldmixon Industrial Estate in Weston-super-Mare.

On Monday (9) January, the college was delighted to welcome the local engineering firm to the college to showcase its top-level range of digital water baths. The stainless steel baths enable the chef to control the temperature of cooking until the desired texture has been achieved and any food borne pathogens have been reduced to a safe level.

Chris Wicks 3The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Weston College was launched last September to enrich students’ learning through inviting top chefs onto the college to work with the students on a weekly basis.

Last term saw Michelin-starred chef Hywel Jones from Lucknam Park, Roux Scholar Paul O’Neill (Berwick Lodge) and 2 AA-rosette chef Martin Baker inspiring Academy Delegates through demonstrating high level cookery and inspiring the young chefs.

This term, renowned Bristol Chef Christopher Wicks kicked-off the exciting programme of study with a three-week course in sous-vide cookery, showcasing the famous Clifton Food Range water baths. The learners will gain an in-depth understanding of preparing, vacuum-sealing and heating food with precise temperature control.

The Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha commented:

“Chris Wicks launched The Chefs’ Forum industry networking event with me in 2010 and hosted our very first event at Berwick Lodge in Bristol (then Executive Chef), where Weston College teaching staff attended as guests.  It is amazing to think that what was then a small project would have led to us working together to teach and enrich the learning the of next generation of chefs at the College.

Chris Wicks 2She continued:

“Chris is renowned for his innovative food combinations and is currently Executive Chef at Old Down Manor (Bristol). He will inspire the young chefs and show them the versatility of sous vide cookery.  They will learn about portion control, quality consistency and all the other advantages of low temperature cookery that make it Wicks’ cooking genre of choice”.

The three week course will cover some of Wicks’ expert sous-vide recipes in fish, vegetable and meat dishes.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy, its guest lecturers and industry experts aim to collectively underpin, Ofstead-outstanding, Weston College in becoming a centre of excellence for catering and hospitality in the South West.