January 2018

Students and apprentices join star-studded kitchen staff at Chef's Forum event hosted by UCB.

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A group of Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) apprentices and Level 3 Hospitality with Events students joined forces yesterday for The Chef’s Forum Birmingham and Midlands Lunch – a pay-as-you-feel event for top chefs and influencers across the region raising £1500 for the forum’s educational foundation.

RACA apprentices were joined in the UCB’s kitchens by Masterchef stars Louisa Ellis, 22-year-old finalist of the show from The Wilderness restaurant, and Leo Kattou, sous chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Simpsons and proud UCB graduate. Hospitality with Events students took care of the front-of-house duties under the watchful eye of John McNally, a UCB Hospitality apprentice at West Bromwich Albion.

“It was great to work with people from the college I attended,” said Leo, who graduated from UCB in 2011. “The team of students I had were very talented, and had a great attitude. I would love to welcome them to do work experience at Simpsons.”

Held in UCB’s Brasserie restaurant, the event was an opportunity for students and apprentices not only to network with industry leaders, but work with them directly to pull off a top quality five-course meal for a packed room of discerning diners. Each top chef - including industry giants Luke Tipping, Executive Chef at Simpsons restaurant, Mark Walsh of Opus restaurant and Oliver Briault of the Edgbaston Boutique Hotel as well as Leo and Louisa - acted as a mentor to the team of students cooking a dish they had each designed. The resulting feast included showstopper dishes such as pork rib eye, smoked eel, pumpkin and leek, and a dessert of creamy dark chocolate, crunchy hazelnut and blood orange segments with cognac ice cream.  

 “Yesterday was a fantastic opportunity for our students and apprentices to work alongside two Masterchef: The Professionals stars and Michelin-starred chefs,” said Nicky Millard, Assistant Dean at UCB’s College of Food.

“The guests attending – including prominent food bloggers, suppliers and restaurant owners –were incredibly impressed with the standard of food and the professionalism of service provided.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of all students and apprentices involved.” 

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