The Chefs’ Forum Learns Indian Gastronomy at The Mint Room in Bath

Soyful with Glos College Students

The Mint Room Bath was the venue for the latest Chefs’ Forum event which saw a celebration of Indian gastronomy led by Executive Chef Soyful Alom.  The first impression of Soyful’s food was of vibrancy and culinary excellence as he showcased his menu, developed with Michelin-starred chef Hrishkesh Desai (Gilpin Hotel & Lake House).

Ever since its launch in 2012, The Mint Room Bath has been a much-talked-about foodie destination as Soyful offers diners ‘a culinary tour of India without a visa!’  The restaurant is very stylish and the food very modern, which has earned the restaurant a Michelin mention.

Glos College studentCanapeSoyful invited students from Bath College and Gloucestershire College into his kitchen to prepare Indian canapés for some seventy-odd industry professionals that were to fill this glitzy venue at midday.

Soyful said

“I didn’t realise that the students would be so fascinated by Indian cuisine.  I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.”

Soyful Alom Head ChefSoyful, inspired by his mother’s cooking has been cooking for over 20 years.  He really enjoyed working with Hrishkesh to perfect his menu, which certainly proved a real hit with the culinary experts and students alike.

Bridget Halford, Head of hospitality at Bath College said

“It has been really inspirational for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour.”

Jack Cook from Walter Rose DemoJack cook from Walter Rose butchered a whole lamb showcasing prime cuts of lamb and making use of the whole carcass, minimising wastage and maximising profit.  He then jointed a peeking duck, again showing the chefs how to use the whole bird inspiring menu ideas.

Frank Mason from Averys Wine TastingAnother highlight of the day was Bristol-based Averys wine merchants leading a fascinating and insightful wine and food pairing session. Professional oenophile, Averys Frank Mason teamed up with Abigail Lawley of Brindisa to present three delicious Spanish wines, married with three sublime Spanish cheeses.

The visiting chefs and students relished the chance to have a glimpse of complex Indian cooking techniques, handed down from generation to generation.  Soyful performed an excellent cookery demo of Tawa Duck, a roast duck dish with a korma base and Indian spices, one of the most popular dishes on his menu.

Soyful demoGloucestershire College student Linzi Moulder (18) very much enjoyed her Indian cookery experience, she said

“Working at The Mint Room Today under Soyful and his team has been different and very inspirational.  I am really enjoying The Chefs’ Forum Academy sessions at my college, it is great to learn different cooking techniques and skills from local chefs in the surrounding area.”

Glos College and Bath College Samosa Making CompSoyful’s mentoring also included a samosa making competition in which Bath College student Kyle Lucas (17) won a fantastic ‘Chefs Life’ T-shirt donated by Chefs Locker.

Kyle said

“I am really excited to have won a day in the kitchen with Soyful.  Having worked as a waiter in a local Indian restaurant, I am no stranger to Indian cuisine.  Today’s event however has inspired me to experiment further in the kitchen, actually cooking Indian food, I am really chuffed to have won the competition today.”

The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath & Cotswolds area and thirty six chef events per year nationally.  Any chefs wishing to get involved should contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com

Photography by www.fayditphotography.com