Students got a taste of the future at South & City College Birmingham thanks to the Chefs’ Forum Academy. Our Longbridge campus hosted a fantastic Hospitality Industry Taster Day for students with top chefs, suppliers and Front-of-House experts on hand to show what hospitality is all about. And, one of our own SCCB alumni returned as a pastry chef success story!
The insight into the world of the hospitality industry featured demonstrations from top local and national chefs, a canapé & mocktail reception, and even a pasta-making masterclass with Exose Grant – MasterChef: The Professionals Finalist 2019 and Head Chef at Ikaro.
Exose invited enthusiastic year 10 students onto the stage to help make fresh tagliatelle and a delicious creamy Royal Greenland prawn sauce. Royal Greenland kindly sponsored cold-water prawns for Exose’s canapé – a Royal Greenland cold water prawn bruschetta which he made with the level two college students. Solene Labarere, UK Market Development Manager, took to the stage to tell the students all about their world-famous prawns and how they are harvested and transported to the UK.
Exose said: “I have done quite a number of these fantastic taster days as a frequent guest lecturer in The Chefs’ Forum Academy at lots of UK colleges and I really enjoyed meeting and working with the students at SCCB. I was also honoured to sign a copy of The Chefs’ Knowledge for our volunteers and I’m sure they will enjoy reading about all of the Chefs’ career stories, including my own!”
In a rare treat, ex-SCCB student Tom Everard-Fairburn, now owner of Two Brothers Bakery in Warwick, was one of the demonstrating chefs displaying a sweet delight challenge – filling and decorating Toffee Apple Éclair. Two of our students competed to recreate Tom’s dish.
Tom spent a year at South & City College Birmingham for his culinary education, and has since worked with The Chefs’ Forum to inspire young chefs for the past decade. He is a regular in Chefs’ Forum Academy masterclasses and at various events.
Tom is an excellent pastry chef and it was great to be able to tell the students about his journey that has led to him recently opening his own business.
Rapper Lowkeylimit and Chefs’ Forum dancers Kit Sells and Princess Van-Der-Larbi punctuated the cookery demos with impressive dance routines and brilliant music. They put on a show that the young audience really enjoyed!
Munayam Khan, Chef Patron of Raja Monkey, showed the students how to make and fill the perfect samosa. Another Year 10 volunteer was on hand to learn how to roll-out, fill and fold a samosa in the traditional Punjabi way, expertly led by Munayam. Munayam also made a Bhelpuri, made with puffed rice, chinni sev (thin fried noodles) and pomegranate seeds as a canapé and served them to the room – the students absolutely loved it!
Chris Emery of Orelle Restaurant in Birmingham talked students through his career, whilst making his signature dish of Roast Peking Duck, Confit Beetroot, Mitake (hen-of-the-wood mushroom) and Confit leg pie. Chris prides himself on using all local, seasonal ingredients and championing local farmers.
Also on stage was Connor McAlpine of ‘Connorcierge’ – One of London’s hottest concierge services – which arranges tables at top restaurants for celebrities and VIP’s. Connor’s unique insight into hospitality and his highly successful career story had the students enthralled.
Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “It was a great way to start the year. SCCB is a brilliant college and our chefs loved being here and are looking forward to teaching masterclasses and inspiring the catering students as the year unfolds. We’re also looking forward to an exciting business studies challenge for hospitality students this January, which will see Munayam taking the students to a wholesaler and helping them to buy ingredients and create a seasonal menu, all within a designated budget, to sell to their peers and teachers. The winning student will receive a fantastic dinner at Raja Monkey!”
Adam Porter, Head of School: Hospitality & Catering at SCCB, said: “It was the dream start to the year for us. We staged this event at South & City Academy to show students what Hospitality & Catering courses are all about over at the college and they loved it. Partnering with The Chefs’ Forum is going to revolutionise what we do with our students and those that will be coming in future years.”
This event has helped the college satisfy multiple standards on the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance in linking the curriculum to careers, enabling students to encounter employers and facilitating encounters with further and higher education.
Catherine concluded: “The Chefs’ Forum Academy employer engagement programme also offers experience of work places with regular work experience opportunities and personal guidance for each student. We are frequently interviewed by OFSTED to this end in helping colleges get the recognition they deserve for extensive curriculum enrichment work with us. We really love what we do and it is great that the colleges we work with can benefit from our work as well as helping employers identifying and nurturing the next generation of culinary and hospitality talent.”
Food is the bridge that brings the world together. Interested in a Hospitality & Catering course at our college?