GC students attend The Chef's Forum Academy Executive Chef Lunch
The Chef's Forum Educational Foundation held its first Executive Chefs' Lunch for sixty guests, including a number of GC Catering and Hospitality students who were selected due to their outstanding performances on their courses. The event, headline sponsored by Bath Audi, took place at The Bath Priory on Monday 19 March. The Chefs’ Forum Academy was launched last year with GC to enrich the learning of students, initially at Gloucestershire College, and now at a wider selection of colleges in the county. The Chefs’ Forum Academy brings prolific chefs from Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, Bath and beyond into the College every Monday to deliver cookery masterclasses in their individual cooking styles.
Michael Nizzero, Executive Chef of The Bath Priory hosted the event which saw three other guest Executive Chefs join him on the pass. Michael has been at The Bath Priory for two years but prior to his appointment at this beautiful hotel, he has worked with many industry greats including Michel and Alain Roux at the three Michelin-starred Waterside Inn and most recently The Ritz (London). The Spring Lunch saw him cook with three peers, each with a combination of Michelin stars, TV appearances and industry accreditations to raise money for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation. Each chef expertly cooked one of four courses to showcase the best cooking that the Bath & Cotswolds area has to offer. The Executive chefs who took part were: Michael Nizzero (The Bath Priory), Niall Keating (Whatley Manor), Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park) and Richard Davies (Calcot Manor).
Host Michael Nizzero said: "The Spring Lunch was an amazing experience - it was a real privilege to work with such talented chefs from the Bath & Cotswolds area in our kitchen at The Bath Priory. Huge thanks to Bath College and Gloucestershire College for arranging for their top students to work with us in the kitchen – they were a real credit to their colleges.”
Paola Cassoti, General Manager at The Bath Priory added: “We are very happy to host The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation’s Spring Lunch. It is great to see so many industry experts in one room and a really rewarding experience to support the next generation of hospitality professionals.”
A silent, sealed bid auction made up of luxury dinners and stays donated by the chefs taking part, with a Hallgarten Wines sponsored Magnum and 6 Vinoteque crystal glasses from Artis helped to boost monies raised making this a highly successful fundraising lunch. Sponsors including Walter Rose & Son, Flying Fish, Santa Maria, Dorset Sea Salt, Koppert Cress, French Garden, Premier Cheese, Clifton Coffee and Hallgarten Wines all donated ingredients driving down the food cost, making the most money possible for The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation. The chefs who took part in the lunch often give up their time to work with and mentor hospitality students at the Gloucestershire College via The Chefs’ Forum Academy and demos at Bath College enabling them to learn from the best.
Catherine Farinha gave a speech about the fabulous work The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation does in helping young chefs and hospitality professionals overcome problems with travel, relocation and equipment costs.
Catherine commented: "The work we do is vital in offering support to young people entering the hospitality industry. From helping schools transport GCSE students to hospitality industry taster days, to paying for driving lessons or a first month’s rent, it is fund-raising Chefs’ Lunches like these that facilitate our offering help to the next generation, bridging the chef shortage.
At the lunch, hospitality and catering students from Gloucestershire and Bath Colleges got the opportunity to sample the best in Michelin-starred fine dining, most of them, for the very first time. All students who attended were chosen for outstanding performance on their hospitality courses.
Mark Hyde-Catton, Chefs’ Forum Academy coordinator at Gloucestershire College concluded: "This lunch represented everything The Chefs' Forum Academy at Gloucestershire College has become and we are so grateful to the chefs and sponsors for their involvement in this event for such a worthy cause. It is a fact that young people, through no fault of their own require assistance when they are first starting out in the hospitality industry. It was amazing to speak to Chef Michael Nizzero who has invited our students back to work in his kitchen. I am delighted to see that today’s lunch and funds raised has made this possible, as many of our students will need financial help to travel to Bath. This lunch was also a fabulous chance for current and future chefs and front of house professionals to witness first-hand, industry-leading cookery and service!"