Putting on The Ritz to hail a new batch of students towards the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts high table!
Executive Chefs from The Ritz and Claridge's, together with other highly acclaimed chef judges from the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, descended on Bournemouth & Poole's College's Escoffier Restaurant to judge the cooking skills and performances of 18 young, hopeful apprentice chefs who have been living and working in Central London and country house hotels for three years.
Martyn Nail, Executive Chef at Claridge's, was one of those on hand to sample the skills of a new generation of chefs. He said "It is wonderful to be able to endorse this superb course and recognise the quality of the work that goes on here, not only by the students but the dedicated staff. Myself and fellow chefs from other great kitchens relish seeing the basic skills and knowledge being passed onto the students and also on a day like this, we get to sample the finished dishes."
It's a sign of commitment and dedication of the catering and hospitality teaching staff at the college that some staff members who helped launch it are still there working enthusiastically 25 years on! Amongst them are Chef/Tutor Dave Boland, Fellow of RACA, as well as Jenny Brett, Apprenticeship Co-ordinator. Dave commented "The Specialised Chefs Course has evolved steadily over the years as trends and tastes have changed, but the basic ethos remains the same! We want our young specialised chefs to know not just how to cook and prepare, but also about the cultural origins and history of the various dishes and their ingredients. This makes for a brilliant all-round education. We continue to thank the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and its members for all their support in maintaining the course's high profile throughout the UK."
The visiting chefs were here to scrupulously judge the menu produced by eighteen students who, after six gruelling and very hot hours in the college's Escoffier Kitchen, passed their exam. These exceptional young chefs will, in time, have the opportunity to be admitted to the inner sanctum of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. The students had to cook the following menu:
Goujonettes de sole Murat
Epaule d'agneau a la Boulangere
Melange de legumes
Pannacotta a la lavande avec compote de fruits des bois
The full list of chefs attending the event was John Williams, MBE Ritz Hotel, London, John King, King's Fine Foods, Martyn Nail, Executive Chef, Claridge's, Sarah Howard of RACA, Adam Byatt, Chef Patron of Trinity and food writer, graduate, Peter Taylor of RACA who helped set up the course, Joachim Schafheitle of RACA, James Golding, Chef Director of The Pig group of hotels based in Brockenhurst and graduate, Neal Jepson, graduate from Boodle's, now Head Chef, That Group and Mark Morris from The Staff Canteen, social media site.
For more information on the Specialised Chefs' Scholarship click here