The University of West London (UWL) opened up three of its teaching kitchens to the cream of the culinary profession on Monday, as part of The Chefs’ Forum – a series of networking events for helping young people to enter the hospitality business, by linking them up with employers.
The Chefs’ Forum bridges the gap between industry and education and by hosting it for the first time, UWL underlined its commitment to being the Career University.
Guiding the students from UWL’s London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism (LGCHT) on the day were chefs Gareth Bowen from Shangri-La at the Shard, Christian Knerr and Alistair Dibbs from Harrods, and Tamas Baranyi and Laurentiu Samoila from Bluebells Restaurant. Presiding at the occasion ‘front of house’ was Maitre d’, Thierry Tomasin, of Angelus Restaurant, who previously spent a decade at the famous two-Michelin-star restaurant, Le Gavroche.
Together they created and served a four-course meal for around 50 professionals from the catering industry who were there to get in touch with the next generation of talent. On the menu was tourteau of crab and avocado, scorched mackerel, salt marsh lamb, with mango and passion fruit chocolate dessert.
LGCHT Student Catarina Melo took part in The Chefs’ Forum and said: ‘I have learnt new skills, such as how precision is of the utmost importance and how to put myself in the position of the customer, asking ourselves how we would like to be treated. It was really good to do something new and this has been a great first attempt at banqueting for me.’
James Edmunds, Dean of LGCHT said: ‘Today has been a fantastic experience for our students. The food was superb and it was a great opportunity to showcase our students’ professionalism and skills. I would like to thank The Chefs’ Forum for making today a great success and inspiring our students.’
Deputy Dean Janet Rowson helped organise the event, the first to be hosted at the University.
‘I am very proud of our students, they really stepped up to the task and it’s important that we nurture and support them. It’s important they have the opportunity to work with industry on the practical side, as well as on theory. For the College, this Forum is an excellent opportunity to build important networks and partnerships in the hospitality and catering industry.’