Monday afternoon saw Josh Eggleton, Chef & Co-Owner of The Pony Chew Valley, visit our College Green campus to run a chef masterclass for our students.
Our future chefs and restaurateurs certainly cooked up a storm fine-tuning complex skills for a detailed menu focused around game and offal.
Josh’s visit is part of a hospitality training programme named The School of Food, formed by himself and fellow Bristol chef Adrian Kirikmaa.
The initiative is a unique vocational hospitality training programme for Bristol’s future chefs and restauranteurs that aims to address the hospitality skills shortage in our city and the surrounding area.
The School of Food works in partnership with our apprenticeship offering to further enrich the training of our students.
Speaking to Josh during the masterclass afternoon, he commented: “The students get to work with a really good chef and get taught how to do things and learn some stuff that you just might not get to learn at work.
“The School of Food is an idea that I came up with a few years ago and it’s to support the college in creating a link between the restaurant trade that pre-exists in Bristol to the students here.
“What we’re trying to do is to take what is happening in our restaurant trade right now in Bristol; that knowledge and what’s on people’s menus, directly into the college. To have a true representation of a modern kitchen.
“We’ve created a series of masterclasses, we do about 15 a year, and we get a different chef or butcher or fishmonger – somebody to come and run a class.”
As part of this scheme, apprentices take part in a range of masterclasses delivered by sensational local chefs, allowing them to improve their skills and develop their recipes.
There is also the opportunity for our students to cook at high-profile events across various locations, enabling them to gain crucial real-world experience that propels them further than their traditional workplace.
Talking about getting the students involved, William Bennet-Clark, Tutor and Trainer for our Commis Chef apprenticeship said: “That’s what it’s about, we’re doing a demonstration and the students are really getting hands-on as well.”
The partnership between City of Bristol College and the School of Food is a valued resource for our students and alumni, something that allows them to stand apart from the crowd by getting invaluable experience under their belts working with some of the biggest culinary names in Bristol.
Talking of the benefits of the partnership with the college, Josh continued: “The great thing about School of Food is when we first did it years ago, we had students coming back and owners of restaurants saying ‘we’re putting these dishes on our menu’.
“I run restaurants, that’s my business and I always say that restaurants are classrooms. All day we’re training our staff and working to improve customer service. The way you get great food and great customer service is by training and educating staff, so this masterclass is a natural thing for me to do.
“It’s all about education and to be able to operate in the restaurant trade, you have to be an educator.”
To discover more about our partnership with The School of Food, please email email@example.com . To view our catering and hospitality courses, click here.