The Chefs’ Forum and Pata Negra Inspire Bristol’s Next Generation of Young Chefs

Todd Danny and students

On Monday (8) October, students from City of Bristol College and Weston College, got to work alongside Pata Negra chefs, Todd Francis and Danny Clarke, to showcase the very best in modern Spanish cuisine at the latest Chefs’ Forum event at Pata Negra in Clare St, Bristol.

Synergy GrillPata Negra is a bustling, Spanish tapas and wine bar in the heart of Bristol’s Old City, with a great atmosphere and newly refurbished open kitchen.  Pata Negra proudly champions both Synergy Grill and Adande refrigerated drawer units in the new kitchen – both market-leading catering manufacturing brands are sponsors of The Chefs’ Forum and a great hand-raiser for the perfect partnership: from fridge to grill.

The Chefs’ Forum is a UK-wide networking group for leading chefs, suppliers and catering students aimed at bridging the gap between industry and education to inspire the next generation of young chefs.

Leading suppliers exhibiting at the Latin-themed culinary event included Bragard, Convotherm, Walter Rose & Son, Koppert Cress, Santa Maria, Todd demo 2Wearertech, Wing of St Mawes, Crown Cellars, Wrapex, Creed and Major International.

Led by Todd and Danny, the aspiring young chefs created a selection of modern tapas, using local authentic Spanish produce for the 50 culinary experts arriving at midday.

Highlights from the afternoon’s event included live demonstrations of Pata Negra’s signature autumnal dish of Walter Rose Ox Cheeks and pumpkin, a guided Sherry tasting by Vanessa RobertAlex from Brindisas of Crown Cellars and food matching as well as a tortilla cooking competition for the students to show off their culinary talents. Guests were also treated to a Spanish fine food tasting by Brindisa brand ambassador Alex Bell.

The competition was won by City of Bristol College student Diana Fernandes Lopes (left), who pipped Amber Fowler of Weston College to the winning post with her impressive attempt at a Spanish Tortilla. Diana received an experiential prize of a day in the kitchen with Group Executive Chef Todd Francis!

Commenting on the event, Pata Negra Executive Chef, Todd Francis said:

“The Students were brilliant today and really impressed me with their culinary skills. This is the first time I have worked Student tortilla comp Diana left and Amber rightwith The Chefs’ Forum and I feel that it is invaluable for our industry. It’s a great opportunity to give something back and use my experience to inspire the next generation of budding young chefs”

Amber Fowler, Level 3 student at Weston College said:

“Today has been a great way for us to meet employers. It was great to learn about Spanish Gastronomy today, working with authentic Spanish ingredients.  It was really interesting to be shown how to make a tortilla and see just how precise chefs are with their food preparation. It’s been a very rewarding and fun experience.”

Sweet canape

Desmond Smith said:

“We’re delighted to be part of the Bristol Chef’s Forum. It has given the students hands-on experience working with Spanish chefs and produce. It also gives them an insight into the business side of a successful local leisure brand. Today has taught them that although the food is obviously important, there are other aspects to consider while running a restaurant, such as the social, business and managerial elements of the industry.”

CanapeThe Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha concluded:

“We’ve had a fantastic experience here at Pata Negra. Todd, Danny and the team have been a joy to work with and a real inspiration to the students from City of Bristol and Weston College.  I have received a great deal of positive feedback from chefs and learners alike which is extremely rewarding.  Spanish Gastronomy proved a real hit with our members and I look forward to many more Bristol events as The Chefs’ Forum continues to flourish.”

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