Photos by Andrew Plant
Students from Bath College created canapés for top chefs and suppliers at an important networking event in Somerset.
Professionals from the catering and hospitality industry gathered at Ston Easton Park for the popular Chef’s Forum.
They enjoyed a canapé and fizz reception, as well as a cooking demonstration, food competition and duck race.
Students from Bath College worked alongside Ston Easton’s new head chef Martin Baker to create the canapés.
They also went head to head with students from Gloucestershire College and HIT training in a cooking competition.
George Ormond and Ashley Anderson, from Bath College, were crowned the winners and awarded a MAC pro filleting knife.
They were asked to re-create a dish from Mr Martin’s menu – a starter of quail with textures of beetroot.
Mr Martin said: “The students were all fantastic. The passion and talent they showed was brilliant, and with young people like this coming into the industry I am confident that the industry is not in the danger that people say it is.”
George, 17, said: “The Chef’s Forum events are really good for us as students.
“They give us the opportunity to meet people who can help us in the future, and the experience of working with great chefs like Martin.”
After the competition, guests were given a tour of Ston Easton’s gardens – where a range of produce is produced.
Gardener Dale Toten works all year round to grow apricots, quinces, root vegetables and alliums, as well as giant marrows and loofahs.
The park’s picturesque river was used for a duck race, won by Neil Cooper from the Foxham Inn near Chippenham.
Visitors also enjoyed an afternoon tea, with tea from Comins Tea House in Dorset. The company is due to open a second shop in Bath next month.
Catherine Farinha, founder of The Chef’s Forum, said: “This has been a brilliant event and it is chefs like Martin, who have supported us since the very early days, that have made it possible.
“It is so important to us to have the support of chefs of his calibre, and of course all the wonderful sponsors who provide the ingredients and the equipment for the demonstrations.
“It’s great to see so many faces time after time and it makes me believe that we must be doing something right.
“We want to be able to keep giving the young talent the opportunity to go into kitchens and work front of house, so that we can secure the successful future of the hospitality industry.”