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East Met West at The Mint Room in Bath

 

The Mint Room Bath was the venue for the latest Chefs’ Forum event which saw a celebration of Indian gastronomy led by Executive Chef Soyful Alom.  The first impression of Soyful’s food was of vibrancy and culinary excellence as he showcased his menu, perfected over the last seven years of heading-up the kitchen in the popular Bath eaterie.

 

Ever since its launch in 2012, The Mint Room Bath has been a much-talked-about foodie destination as Soyful offers diners elegant and vibrant plates, showcasing the very best in local produce. The restaurant is very stylish and the food very modern and the team now boast four sites, including the newly opened Bandook in Bath’s city centre on the former Carluccio’s site.

 

 

Soyful invited students from Bath College and Gloucestershire College into his kitchen to prepare Indian canapés for some fifty industry professionals that were to fill this fashionable venue at midday.

 

Soyful said:

 

“It was a pleasure to have the students in my kitchen today.  I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.  I have offered trial shifts and a free dinner to three outstanding students from Bath College today, that shows how impressed I was with these and all students who participated in today’s event, the second that we have hosted for The Chefs’ Forum”

 

 

Soyful, inspired by his mother’s cooking has been cooking for over 20 years.  He relished the chance to pass over skills he learnt to the next generation.

 

Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer at Gloucestershire College said

 

“It has been really inspirational for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour.  It was also a great chance for them to get to know their peers from Bath College – They all got on very well indeed.  We welcome chefs like Soyful into our teaching kitchens with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, that we implemented in the college in 2016.  The curriculum enrichment programme really forges links with employers, opens up opportunities and makes our students more work-ready on leaving college”

 

Alex Byrne from Walter Rose gave a fantastic beef butchery masterclass, showcasing the finest cuts of Stokes Marsh Farm steak. Soyful then cooked-up the steaks so the chefs were able to sample the finest quality Wiltshire beef, many of whom were already customers of Walter Rose, award-winning catering butcher.

 

 

Another highlight of the day was the Welsh Fine Food Cluster leading a fascinating and insightful Welsh food sampling session. Ffion Jones and Dafydd Jones gave a very interesting talk and tasting of Welsh cheeses, condiments and sauces.

 

 

The visiting chefs and students relished the chance to have a glimpse of complex Indian cooking techniques, handed down from generation to generation.  Soyful performed an excellent cookery demo of seabass moilee, one of the most popular dishes on his menu, usually made with mixed seafood as sampled in extra portions that came from the kitchen for the chefs to enjoy.

 

Bath College student Daniel Shemilt very much enjoyed his Indian cookery experience, he said

 

“Working at The Mint Room today under Soyful and his team has been different and very inspirational.  It was great to learn how to make samosas by hand and I’m delighted to have won a meal and trial shift here on the back of it.”

 

Eryn Beales (front of house) and Ellis Ali (kitchen), both of Bath College have also been awarded dinner at The Mint Room and a trial shift with a view to a part time job if successful, for being nominated as Soyful’s ‘Stars of the Day’ – A great result all round.

 

The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath & Cotswolds area and forty chef events per year nationally.  Any chefs wishing to get involved should contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com

 

Photo credit: www.jcampbellphotography.co.uk

 

Events, News

Catering and Hospitality Employability Week

 

Our Catering and Hospitality students have enjoyed three days of amazing talks, workshops and masterclasses as a part of their employability days. These included a Spice Masterclass, Chocolate Voyage, Cocktail Masterclass, a Hospitality and Customer service talk and workshop, Venison butchery and speed dating interviews with top industries.

 

The purpose of the employability days is to allow students to network with real industry professionals, as well as learn valuable skills that will help them to get and maintain a solid career in their chosen industry.

 

There was a huge selection of classes, talks and workshops on offer, so the students were really spoiled for choice. Tracy Chapman’s Chocolate Voyage went down a storm on the first day as students were able to take part in a chocolate tasting workshop. Tracy is an expert in all things chocolate and a member of the Institute of Chocolate and Cacao tasting London. She talked about the difference between taste and flavour and led the students through an interactive tasting workshop on how to identify flavours, a good skill for any chef transferable across all types of food. Callum Rixson from The Hideout in Bath was also popular, leading students through a cocktail masterclass. He was incredibly passionate about each drink, talking through not only how to make it, but the decisions behind each flavour addition and the choice of alcohol. He also spent time informing the students about each piece of equipment and what they’re used for and how to use them correctly.

 

 

On the second day the students were treated to another collection of amazing opportunities, these included Customer Service talks and Venison Butchery classes from The Pig, Seafood masterclasses led by Sean Wood from the Billingsgate Seafood School and Wine workshops led by Richard Guest from Talking Wines. Steph Young from The Pig led an engaging talk and workshop on Customer Service and hospitality. As Restaurant Manager for The Pig near Bath, hospitality is one of her day to day jobs and she talked at length about her experiences, and what it took to get to where she was in the industry. She also then led a more interactive workshop, giving groups of students a particular type/group of customers and tasking them to think of how to provide the correct type of hospitality and service to suit their client’s needs. The Pig were also on hand again to lead a masterclass on Venison Butchery. They brought up one of their own fresh deer, reared on site, and led students through where each of the cuts originates. Showing students how to prepare the meat for cooking, what to remove and how to remove each cut safely. They talked about what each part of the animal can be used for in order to minimise any waste produced and to get as much from the animal as possible. This was an incredibly useful workshop for any aspiring chefs who want to work with completely fresh meat, and invaluable knowledge for the industry.

 

 

On the final day of their employability workshops our students had workshops and talks from Noya Paladim on Vietnamese food, Chris Cleghorn (Head Chef from The Olive Tree Bath) and Ed Twitchett former student and founder of Round Hill Roastery. There was also a speed dating interview workshop, where students were interviewed by industry professionals from The Bath Pub Company, Royal Crescent Hotel, The Bath Priory and Catering Services International. These interviews not only allowed them to meet industry professionals, but to network and get valuable practice and feedback on their interview skills. This will be invaluable when they leave College and are entering the real world of Catering and Hospitality.

 

 

We hope that the students enjoyed their three days of workshops, masterclasses and talks and we would like to thank all the Industry Professionals for giving up their time to come and in and work with our students.

 

If you are interested in a Catering and Hospitality course then please click here for more information

 

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