Top Bristol Chefs Inspire Next Generation of Talent

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On Monday 14 January, five of Bristol’s most highly-skilled chefs helped 40 young people from three catering colleges serve up a mouth-watering meal for 70 extremely discerning diners at City of Bristol College. Nearly £500 was raised to support young people with travel costs in accessing work experience, essential equipment and helping colleges to fund employer trips, visits and feeder school travel to college events.

City of Bristol College opened up three of its teaching kitchens to the cream of the culinary profession to host a fundraising lunch for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation CIC, an organisation set-up by Catherine Farinha and Alexandra Duncan in October 2016 to raise vital funds to help disadvantaged young people enter the hospitality industry, by linking them up with employers and providing essential support and equipment.

The Chefs’ Forum bridges the gap between industry and education and by hosting the Chefs’ Lunch in what is now the seventh year of The Chefs’ Forum. City of Bristol College underlined its commitment to the initiative in inspiring young chefs, enriching their learning and forging strong links with leading employers within the industry.

Heads of School from the participating three colleges: City of Bristol College, Weston College and Coleg Gwent, each brought a team of front of house and kitchen students to work in the kitchens with the visiting chefs and a thoroughly inspirational day was had by all.

Guiding the students from the colleges were Elisabeth Julienne from Gambas on the starter, Saravanan Nambirajan and Raju Raju from The Mint Room on the fish course, Louise McCrimmon from Harvey Nichols on the meat course and Istvan Ulmann from Berwick Lodge on dessert. Presiding at the occasion ‘front of house’ was the fantastic Sarah Arikan, Owner of Berwick Lodge and Front of House expert.

All ingredients and drinks for the lunch were kindly sponsored by Koppert Cress, Fish for Thought, Walter Rose & Son, Brindisa and Santa Maria.

Together, 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.

Desmond Smith, Lecturer at City of Bristol College stated:

“It has been a fantastic experience for our students. Having three colleges and four restaurants represented in our kitchens was truly spectacular and a great experience for all involved. 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 the event a great success and inspiring our students.”

Catherine Farinha, Chefs’ Forum Founder added:

“We launched The Chefs’ Forum with City of Bristol College seven years ago. It was great to have so many fantastic chefs at the event and bring three colleges together. It is fantastic to return to City of Bristol College for the seventh year later to work with another new cohort of students and the next generation of top chefs. The chefs and students did an amazing job, they really stepped up to the task and it’s so 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 three colleges that took part this event was an excellent opportunity to build on important networks and partnerships in the hospitality and catering industry.”

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