Roux Scholar Inspires Young Chefs

Andrew Jones, Denise Charles, Catherine Farinha and students

On Monday (15) May, Chef Patron Andrew  Jones  (Chamberlains of London) , winner of the Roux Scholarship 2004 worked with young chefs at Hammersmith & Fulham College to host The Chefs’ Forum. Top hospitality employers from across London attended and offers of apprenticeships and work experience were secured on the back of the industry event.

Top London chefs and food industry people congregated in Taste Restaurant on campus for a day of cookery demonstrations, networking and all things ‘chef’ with a chance to meet young hospitality students from Hammersmith & Fulham college in their quest to show off their skills and secure summer work placements.

CanapeTuna CanapeAndrew kindly took time out of his busy schedule to mentor young chefs from Hammersmith & Fulham College.  The students assisted Andrew in the preparation and service of fantastic canapés including panko crumbed smoked eel fingers with horse radish dip, seared tuna with sesame rice roll, darling smoked mackerel with apple, smoked salmon tartare, chilli squid and strawberry doughnuts, for the fifty top chefs, prestigious employers and College VIPs in attendance. The students displayed great aptitude and professionalism, a real credit to their college.

Founded in 2010 by Catherine Farinha, The Chefs’ Forum now holds regular chefs conventions from London to The Cotswolds, Cornwall and Kent. Its eighth London event was very well received by all involved and Denise Charles, Curriculum Manager proved an excellent host!

Denise said:

“Hosting The Chefs’ Forum was a fantastic event for the College and it was a real pleasure to have the chance to give our students access to such a wide range of industry professionals. The College is making big investments into hospitality through the Southall Manor House project so being able to meet and discuss opportunities with companies like Harrods and Hilton Hotels was a wonderful experience. I was delighted for Maliece to receive her trial with
Chamberlain’s, and to watch our students rise to the challenge of working with an industry leading chef.”

Andrew Jones trained with Michel Bras in Laguiole and is now Chef Patron at Chamberlains, Leaderhall Market.  Andrew was so impressed by one particular student, Maliece Thomas Payne (18), a level three catering student that he offered her a trial shift at Chamberlains of London.

Andrew Jones DemoAndrew said:

“It took me three attempts to win the Roux Scholarship and I would advise any young chef to have a go.  The Roux Scholarship offers life-changing opportunity and experience in a three-Michelin-starred restaurant.   Being here at the college takes me back to when I was training and I have been really impressed with the standard of the students work today, their positivity and willingness to get on with the job.  I am looking forward to welcoming Maliece into my kitchen at Chamberlains as a result of excellent performance in her college kitchen and as my Commis Chef on The Chefs’ Forum demo stage today.  She was first in the kitchen this morning which is always a good sign.  She had a positive attitude and was a pleasure to work with.”

Maliece said:

“This has been an amazing experience – to work with Andrew in our college kitchen has really encouraged me, I have loved working with fish today as I haven’t done so much to date and have really appreciated being part of this amazing event.  I can’t wait for my trial shift at Chamberlains.  Andrew was very inspirational and it was fascinating to see how many things he could do at once”.

The finest ingredients for the canapés and demos were donated by The Chefs’ Forum Sponsors Walter Rose & Son, First Choice Produce, Chamberlains & Thelwell and Koppert Cress.

Walter Rose ButcheryOther highlights of the day included a brilliant demonstration of Nestle Chef stocks by Development Chef Roger Rahaman, a Koppert Cress mini ‘cressperience’ with Paul Da Costa Greaves, a Valrhona Chocolate tasting session with Stephanie Perrot and a beef butchery masterclass and steak cutting students completion with Jack Cook of Walter Rose & Son butchers.

The steak-cutting competition was won by Augustinas Kirijanovas (17) who won a fantastic Flint and Flame Santoku Knife, kindly donated by The Chefs’ Forum sponsor Adande refrigeration and presented by its London representative, Matt Fewins.

Augustinas ‘JJ’ Kirijanovas, Level 1 Culinary Skills Student said:

Butchery Winner Augustinas 'JJ' Kirijanovas“The event was very satisfying because I got to talk to several chefs who all taught me different things. It really helped me with my prospects for the future. 

“I was a bit nervous standing in front of everyone for the butchery competition, but it was such an amazing moment when I realised I’d won and that the knife was actually for me. This is my first proper knife, and I will always remember winning it. 

“After College I plan to travel and learn about as many different cuisines as possible before hopefully making it in a Michelin -starred restaurant”.

Catherine Farinha, The Chefs’ Forum Founder said:

“It’s been a thoroughly inspiring day – one of the most successful events we’ve held in London to date – This is our eighth London event having launched at Westminster Kingsway College in May 2014. The Chefs’ Forum is going from strength to strength seeing 34 quarterly events staged per year in London, Birmingham, Wales, Kent, The Cotswolds, Bath, Bristol, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall, I would urge chefs across the UK to get involved in this extremely positive industry organisation that oils the wheels of communication across the various elements of the industry: Education, professional kitchens and top suppliers”.

This event was above all, a testament to Denise Charles and her teaching team and the talented students at Hammersmith & Fulham College.  The next London event will take place this July, where chefs will enjoy more inspirational cookery demonstrations from top chefs and suppliers. The Chefs’ Forum would love to hear from London Chefs wishing to attend and support future events.

Photography by: www.fayditphotography.com