Cornwall College played host to the Cornish launch of industry body The Chefs’ Forum this week.
Held in the College’s Trevenson Restaurant on campus, invited guests included chefs from hotels and restaurants throughout the Duchy, forum committee members and sponsors including Champagne Tattinger, Total Produce and Clifton Food Range.
And celebrity TV chef and restaurateur Antony Worrall Thompson also popped in to show his support for the event, sampling some of the delicious canapés made using fresh local produce and prepared by the College’s catering students.
The Chefs’ Forum has been set up to bridge the gap between education and industry and inspire young chefs and front-of-house professionals.
Founder, Catherine Farinha, explained: “We launched in Bristol the January before last and now we’re very pleased to be launching here in Cornwall. It’s a strategy that’s worked. We only started out as a local organisation, but employer relations improved to such a level that there was a need to do the same in Devon.
“Then Dorset chefs started asking if it was possible to do the same in their area and then it only seemed right that we include Cornwall. Cornwall’s often seen as too far down to be able to access, but having worked on publications in the region in the past, I am more than aware of the sheer abundance of excellent chefs and produce down here, so it seemed like a no-brainer really.”
After meeting some of the students who had prepared canapés and served guests at the event, Worrall Thompson commented: “I think events like this are amazingly important for students. When you think about Cornwall, a lot of employment here is in the service industry and tourism. You’ve got a magnificent farming industry down here, so there’s great local produce.
“Youngsters need encouraging to stay in our industry and it’s a very hard industry, there’s no doubt about it. I think it gets harder and harder to attract youngsters, so if you’ve got some top chefs getting involved with colleges like this, it does a lot to inspire them.”