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The Chef's Forum gives local GCSE students a taste of the hospitality industry

22 February 2018

 On Tuesday 20 February, The Chef’s Forum Academy once again joined us at Gloucestershire College, this time at our Forest of Dean Campus. Following on from celebrations of one year of The Chef’s Forum Academy, which was set up in 2016 with the College, this week’s event showcased more talented local chef’s and industry specialists with a twist. The event aimed to showcase how rewarding and exciting a career in the sector can be, and inspire young chef’s and industry stars of the future.

Around 100 Year 10 and 11 pupils from four local schools attended who were interested in the industry, including Dean Magna School, The Forest High School, The Dean Academy, and Newent Community School. Guests also included a number of GC staff members, including our Executive Team, including Chief Executive and Principal Matthew Burgess.

Guests were welcomes with non-alcoholic cocktails created and served by GC hospitality students including a Royal Forest Raspberry Spritzer and a Royal Forest Mock Mojito, which were enjoyed by all. There was also a number of canapés on offer which were prepared by our GC catering students along with GC chef lecturer, Matt Stead, and professional chefs from The Chef’s Forum.

Guests were first introduced to the flythrough of our new campus currently under construction in Cinderford by Vice Principal Sandra Tyrrell – which you can watch here – to showcase the facilities that progressing and new students joining us in the Forest of Dean from September 2018 will be learning in. The new campus is both environmentally friendly and high-tech, especially for our catering and hospitality students who will be able to learn in industry standard kitchens and our purpose build restaurant which will cater to the public.

Before the culinary showcase began, guests were also introduced to the catering and hospitality industry and the careers that a qualification in this sector could lead to by HR Manager of Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Nicki Cotton.

The culinary demos began with a butchery demonstration from award-winning butcher, Jack Cook, a fourth generation butcher working at Walter Rose & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire., who showed guests how to properly prepare meat, before Ross Hunter, Head Chef at Backwell House near Bristol, used the expertly cut meat to create a delicious dish.

Things heated up – or rather cooled down dramatically – for the next demonstration, where Cardiff based chef Stephen Gomes of Moksh, showcased how a curry could be taken to the next level with the use of liquid nitrogen (dry ice) – a display that was enjoyed by all, especially in the tasting. Following Stephen Gomes’ impressive display, the guests were introduced to the world of fish by MasterChef: The Professionals finalist and Junior Sous Chef and Lucknam Park, Elly Wentworth, who created a delicious dish to taste. Even more treats followed Elly’s demonstration with Jack Cook coming to the stage once again to allow the guests to try some delicious sausages made at Walter Rose & Son for a Haute Dog.

More culinary delights followed with a tapas demonstration by renowned chef, Elisabeth Julienne, Head Chef of The Lazy Dog, Bristol, before Ross Hunter returned to the stage to prepare a delicious sweet.

Year 10 and 11 students from our invited schools were then given the opportunity to speak to representatives from The Chef’s Forum and GC catering and hospitality lecturers about careers in the industry, learning at GC and the new campus before heading back to their schools.

Sandra Tyrrell, Site Principal, said: “The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and it was fantastic to see so many young faces inspired to consider careers in catering and hospitality, with demonstrations by talented local chefs and industry experts.

“Our collaboration with The Chefs’ Forum Academy continues strongly, with professional chefs from Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds, Bath and beyond coming to our campuses every Monday to deliver cookery masterclasses in their unique cooking styles. We look forward to welcoming them at our new campus restaurant from September.”

At the one year anniversary of this collaboration, Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer and Coordinator of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College stated: “The students have really enjoyed their sessions with the visiting chefs this year and have given very overwhelmingly positive feedback on their experiences with the visiting culinary experts.

“The Chefs’ Forum Academy is a valuable platform that offers employer engagement and a fantastic opportunity for them to build relationships with local chefs and employers and secure work experience placements with them.”

For more information on catering at GC visit

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