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News

Up and coming local talent competes in Chef v Chef 2020

 

Bath College hosted their annual Chef v Chef competition on 25th February. Six current local chefs, as well as groups of aspiring students competed in a variety of competitions; the Chefs vying for the Chef Champion title, and the students for best team, best knife skills and best Front of House service.

 

The morning focussed on the student competitions, students arrived and grouped into their teams. They then had 30 minutes to plan their two course dinner, including deciding what wines would pair with their food, and who would be in the kitchen and who would lead on the service. Each group had to produce a paupiette of plaice served with a suitable sauce and potato garnish of their choice, as well as a chocolate tart with appropriate accompaniment for dessert. The student selected to lead on service then took part in the Front of House challenge, demonstrating a napkin fold, cocktail and role play scenarios to the judges; Sylwia Ooger from Lympstone Manor and Stuart Shepherd, retired Front of House Manager. Once the students had completed their dishes, they presented one plate to the judges, for tasting and assessing, and served the other plates inside Bath College’s mock restaurant, where they were once again assessed on their customer interaction, their wine suggestions and how they had laid their tables.

 

 

Whilst this was happening, over in the other kitchen, more students were competing in a knife skills challenge. They had just 30 minutes to prepare 6 different vegetables, and cut them in 6 different classic styles (macedoine, paysanne, brunoise, julienne and chiffonade), and were marked from everything from their hygiene to the accuracy of their cuts.

 

 

The second half of the day was the Professional Challenge, 7 chefs from across the local area were shortlisted to compete; Andrew Jenkinson from Lucknam Park, Christian Orner from Salt Co, Dean Toon from Blunsdon Hotel, Jethro Lawrence from Woolley Grange, Henry Scott from Henry’s Restaurant, Frazer Carroll from No. 15 Great Pulteney Street and Jason Ramplin. Each professional had two and a half hours to compile a main course using game meat, and a dessert using Solkiki Chocolate, Williams Pear and Hazelnuts. Bath College students volunteered to act as Commis chefs for each professional during the challenge, to assist them with cooking but also to learn from the Professionals as they cooked. As with the student challenge, the Chefs needed to produce two plates; one for judging and one for presentation. The dishes looked fantastic, and were on display during the awards reception.

 

 

The judges really had their work cut out for them, and spent a while in the kitchen deliberating over who deserved the title. Once they had decided they joined the drinks reception ready for the awards presentation. Delicious canapés had been prepared by the students, and were being served with an assortment of drinks. The first award announced was the Knife Skills Challenge, which was taken by Joseph Rowe; next was the Front of House Challenge which was taken by Daniel Shermilt. The Team Challenge was won by Team Marcus Wareing, consisting of Lucy, Emily and Eryn. Finally, the Chef v Chef Champion was due to be announced, and Dean Toon from Woolley Grange was announced as the 2020 Chef V Chef Champion. Each competition took a long time to judge as each entry was so close, Scott Lucas from The Crafty Chef, and one of the judges commented:

 

“Sometimes you can pick a winner just by their dish, but today it was element by element, it was that close”

 

 

We want to say thank you to all our esteemed judges for taking time out of their day to judge the dishes:

 

 

We also want to congratulate all our winners:

 

Chef V Chef Champion

1st Place – Dean Toon
2nd Place – Frazer Carroll
3rd Place – Henry Scott

 

Team Challenge

1st Place – Team Marcus Wareing (Lucy, Emily and Eryn)
2nd Place – Team Angela Hartnett (Millie, Vicky and Ciara)
3rd Place – Team Paul Bocuse (Ollie, Dan and Sophie)

 

Front of House Challenge

1st Place – Daniel Shermilt
2nd Place – Destiny Smith
3rd Place – Emily Hunt

 

Knife Skills Challenge

1st Place – Joseph Rowe
2nd Place – Jack Goult
3rd Place – Rebekah Paisley

 

News

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

 

Apprenticeships, News

Apprentice of the Month: April 2019

 

Our April Apprentice of the Month is Jake Wheeler. Jake is an Apprentice Commis Chef working for Fullers at The Crystal Palace in Bath, and has been nominated by his tutor Hazel.

 

The Commis Chef Apprentice aims to give students experience working in a busy kitchen, allowing them to progress onto full employment as a Chef. A commis chef works hands on in a kitchen, meaning you can gather experience in many different areas of work. You’ll assist the head chef in food preparation, cooking and clearing down.

 

Jake’s tutor Hazel told us:

“As part of National apprenticeship week, Jake Wheeler represented Bath College and Fullers at the Hospitality Apprenticeship showcase at the House of Commons. There he talked to local MPs on the importance of investing in apprenticeships. Jake continues to be an asset to his workplace and is exceeding in his Commis chef apprenticeship.”

 

Jake is well deserving of this month’s title of Apprentice of the Month, good luck for the future Jake!

 

If you’re interested in an Apprenticeship be sure to check out our Apprenticeship vacancies here or alternatively you can look at our top three Apprenticeships for this month (April 2019), simply click here.

 

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