From education to employment


70 invited guests including chefs, suppliers and colleges sat down to an afternoon of gastronomy to celebrate 10 years of the The Chefs Forum on the 10th January at Dakota Hotel in Manchester.

The event, organised in conjunction with The Manchester College, enabled 20 chef students  to work in the kitchen under chefs Adam Reid, Dan Moon, Exose Grant as well as Sam Karle and Amanda Gasiorowska from Dakota Hotel, Manchester.

“The five-course lunch we put together was absolutely typical of the way we have worked for 10 years,” said Catherine Farinha, founder of The Chefs’ Forum, afterwards. “We paired outstanding suppliers with brilliant chefs in a way that college chefs could learn and guests could enjoy. I cannot believe that 10 years has gone by and we celebrated it in such style in Manchester. I’m overwhelmed by the support, the friends we have made and the students whose lives we’ve managed to enlighten.”

Speaking at the lunch, Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal of The Manchester College, said: “The Chefs’ Forum academy has helped our students not just with their courses but also with life skills. The chefs that come in enable them to learn from industry in an entirely novel way. I have to stop chefs taking our chefs before they finish their courses! It’s a wonderful partnership and today exemplifies that. They get such valuable experience from these events.”

Denise Charles, Head of Curriculum at West London College, said: “It’s about meeting with industry – without the chefs coming in that are organised by The Chefs’ Forum it wouldn’t be the same. We could not source them on our own. Today has been brilliant.”

Matt Townley, General Manager of Dakota Hotel, Manchester said: “This is exactly the sort of event we like to host. We like to be involved with education and quality and it’s wonderful to be involved with The Chefs’ Forum. There are some unbelievably talented young chefs in the kitchens here today.”

“This is a relationship business,” Catherine Farinha continued. “From the very start when I launched The Chefs’ Forum ten years ago at five months pregnant with my third child I knew in my heart that it was something that the industry both needed and wanted.

“We build relationships between colleges and industry and between suppliers and chefs. As a whole we all contribute to the well-being of chef students and their future and the further education of existing and experienced chefs.

“10 years is just the start. We’ve added a new team to The Chefs’ Forum and we are beginning to break new ground with the publication of our own content in the form of The Great Game Guide and this year will see the publication of The Chefs’ Knowledge which is being produced by our editor Chandos Elletson and designer Lee Yarlett. We are a close team and everything is produced in-house. Watch this space.”

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