School pupils from across Pembrokeshire attended the College last week to enjoy a taster day aimed at inspiring them to pursue a career in hospitality.
Organised by The Chefs’ Forum, over 200 pupils attended the event and experienced interactive pasta-making with renowned chef Orsola Muscia from ‘The Tailor Made Chef’ and Alejandro Mayo Lopez from ‘Plantagenet’ restaurant. This was followed by a pastry masterclass with College hospitality students who made choux pastry, and finally, pupils took part in an éclair decorating competition.
Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum, commented: “We love coming to Pembrokeshire College. They make what we do so easy. They’re really proactive, they get everything ready, the teaching staff are excited and the whole college really shows itself to be a true centre of culinary excellence.”
Head of Faculty at Pembrokeshire College, Eva Rees added: “There was cheering and so much positive energy from the school pupils who came to visit, we can’t get that on our own. At the end of the day this is a partnership with The Chefs’ Forum. We provide the teaching expertise and The Chefs’ Forum helps us to reach local schools and work with top local employers to enrich our students’ learning by putting on events like these ‘Hospitality Industry Taster Days.’ It was brilliant.”
Pupils also got to hear from Thomas Ferrante, General Manager of top local hotel ‘The Grove at Narberth’. Thomas was able to inspire pupils with his story off falling into hospitality after almost becoming a barrister. He is now the director of luxury hotel and restaurant company, The Seren Collection. “There are real career progression opportunities, this is a marvellous industry” he told everyone.
All pupils who helped out with the demos on stage received a copy of The Chef’s Forum publication, The Chefs’ Knowledge, all they need to prepare themselves for a hospitality course at College.
Orsola Muscia regularly teaches at Welsh colleges and played a key part in making the day so successful, she said: “Events like these are crucial to the future of our industry. I get so much joy out of seeing the look on the children’s faces when they create their first fresh tagliatelle and pesto, live on stage in front of their peers. I have been in the industry for twenty-five years and love passing on my knowledge and teaching students about Italian cuisine, just like my grandmother taught me from the age of four – I always knew I wanted to be a chef and love every aspect of the job and creating delicious food with genuine love and passion transcended through my hands.”
During the event, chef Alejandro Mayo Lopez made his demo stage debut. He was apprehensive about cooking live on stage in front of such a large audience, but he absolutely loved the experience and is now looking forward to the next event with The Chefs’ Forum who regularly run the chefs’ theatre at prolific food events and festivals all over the UK, he commented: “The visiting school pupils were lively and spirited, with some of them shouting out comments and heckling. So, we embraced this, channelling this energy, inviting them onto the stage and getting them involved in the demos as tasters. They absolutely loved it.”
To find out more about hospitality courses at Pembrokeshire College go to: School Leaver – Pembrokeshire College
Or, if you are a chef wishing to get involved with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org