Trainee chefs from colleges across Great Britain have sharpened their skills after attending a chocolate workshop led by industry experts at The Sheffield College.

Sixty-nine catering students and 20 lecturers from 16 colleges and one university in England, Wales and Scotland, attended a skills demonstration exploring the use of chocolate in sweet and savoury dishes.

The workshop was led by industry experts including Rupert Rowley, Development Chef at MSK Ingredients and Chef Chris Burt, a Casa Luker Chocolate ambassador.

The one day session was organised by Murray Chapman, Director of Passion To Inspire, who organises skills training events to inspire the next generation of talent.

During the demonstration, in the lecture theatre at the College’s City Campus, Granville Road, on November 19th, students and lecturers were shown new and exciting techniques with chocolate - savoury as well as sweet- including milk chocolate risotto and duck breast baked in chocolate crust.

Len Unwin, Chef Lecturer, The Sheffield College, said: “What an outstanding day for our students, getting the opportunity to work alongside great chefs and suppliers, and developing the skills they need to go further in their careers.”

He added: “It was a real pleasure to see so many colleges and their students attending with a passion for chocolate. A big ‘thank you’ to Murray Chapman of A Passion to Inspire, MSK and Casa Luker Chocolate.”

Rupert Rowley, Development Chef, MSK Ingredients, commented: “It was great to see the chefs of tomorrow so enthusiastic towards the techniques and ingredients we presented. Events like this are so important to inspire the next generation of chefs.”

Murray Chapman, Director, A Passion to Inspire, added: “It was great to see so many students travel far and wide to attend this upskill day. Everyone involved should be so very proud of themselves. It was a truly inspirational day and I’d like to thank The Sheffield College for hosting it."

Alumnus Rupert Rowley trained at The Sheffield College in 1995. He went on to work for household names including Raymond Blanc, John Burton Race and Gordon Ramsey before joining the Michelin-starred Fischer’s at Baslow Hall in 2002 as Sous Chef. He became Head Chef there in 2003.

Rupert and his employer MSK Ingredients recently launched two employer skills academies at the College – the MSK Professional Cookery Academy and the MSK Patisserie Skills Academy at City Campus.

MSK Ingredients is providing students with industry talks, workshops, work experience and placements to develop their employability skills, which they benefit from alongside completing their vocational qualifications at the College.

Students and staff from 17 educational institutions attended: The Sheffield College, Barnsley College, Doncaster College, Forth Valley College, Leicester College, Riverside College, New CollegeDurham, University of Derby, Blackpool and The Fylde College , College of West Anglia, Worsley College, Hugh Baird College, West Cheshire College , Loughborough College, Kirklees College, Llandrillo College and New City College.

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