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GC students impress industry professionals at Chefs' Forum

14 September 2016
Image representing GC students impress industry professionals at Chefs' Forum
Photography by Andrew Plant

Students from Gloucestershire College joined top chefs from the Cotswolds and Bath on 12 September, at the Ballihoo Restaurant on the beautiful Lower Mill Estate at Cotswold Water Park.

Executive Chef Rod McCormick worked with catering and hospitality students in the Ballihoo Clubhouse and Restaurant to create mouth-watering canapés for the chefs and local hospitality employers who attended.

On arrival, guests were treated to a canapé and wine reception, during which the students served up the stunning savory bites they had created. The mouth-watering canapés included:

  • Wiltshire pork and leek sausage, duchesse potato and caramelised red onion
  • Prawn, Sesame and lime fishcakes with sriracha mayo
  • Black Pepper Gougeres, pancetta, tomato and parmesan




Nic Banner of Induced Energy, showcased the British-made ‘Invisible Cooking Suite’ which is the latest advance in Induction Technology and the most eco-friendly method of cooking, minimising carbon footprint and waste heat in the kitchen.

Rod McCormick created an impressive dish of home-smoked seared duck with beetroot puree and fennel orange slaw, and Cornelius Veakins invited the guests outside for a pizza demo on an Alfa Pizza oven. 

The day ended with the students serving up afternoon tea, consisting of sweet canapés they had created. These included:

  • Coconut bakewell tart
  • Lemon and orange polenta cake
  • Chocolate and coconut cake




All ingredients for the canapés and demos were kindly supplied by The Chefs’ Forum market-leading sponsors Walter Rose, Total Produce, Castell Howell and Koppert Cress.

The students were rewarded for all their hard work with the chance to let their hair down and enjoy canoeing and mountain biking around the water park.

Chef Rod McCormick said: “Today was brilliant – I really enjoyed engaging with the students who exceeded my expectation and created some fantastic food. 

“I’m very much looking forward to developing my relationship with Gloucestershire College as a result and look forward to welcoming its talented students into my kitchen both here at Balihoo and also at McBaile Exclusive Catering.”

Image representing GC students impress industry professionals at Chefs' Forum
Photography by Andrew Plant

Mark Hyde-Catton, catering lecturer at Gloucestershire College said: “I personally ensure that students put themselves forward for industry events like this to ensure they get valuable work experience prior to leaving college and at the same time, forging employer links that will benefit them later on in industry.

“I’m very much looking forward to the launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College in January 2017. I think it’s a very positive project for the college that will enrich the learning of our students.”

Student Lauren Sansom, who is studying towards her Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma for Professional Chefs said: “This is the fourth Chefs’ Forum event I have helped at. I really like the opportunity to talk to employers whilst gaining real event experience.

“I worked in the kitchen today and it was a great atmosphere. I especially liked the canoeing and mountain biking laid on for us to unwind at the end of the day!”

Nathan Murfitt, who is completing a Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Professional Cookery, said: “This is my first Chefs’ Forum and I really enjoyed serving the canapés and talking to the chefs.

“It was really useful learning how to pour sparkling wine with Majestic Commercial and barista skills with Easy Jose coffee. I gained valuable experience throughout the day.”

Gloucestershire College students will be involved with the next Chefs’ Forum Cotswolds and Bath event, which will take place at Beechfield House with Martin Baker on the 7 November.

The Chefs’ Forum Academy will launch at Gloucestershire College on 30 January 2017 and will include a series of specialist lectures throughout the academic year, with participating students invited on work experience placements at participating businesses over the summer months.

If you’d like to find out more about GC’s hospitality and catering courses, visit

For more information on the Chefs’ Forum visit:

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