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Hotel joins forces with chefs to drive food initiative

29 October 2018

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Boutique Hotel has joined forces with The Chefs’ Forum and University College Birmingham (UCB) and Birmingham Fresh Produce Wholesale Market in a new ‘City of Food’ initiative.

The initiative – a Chef’s Forum – was aimed at giving trainee chefs the opportunity to see at close quarters how a top restaurant operates, and how its five-star dishes are prepared.

Head chef at the hotel, Olivier Briault, led the teaching and guidance on the day as well as welcoming fifty of his peers to sample his culinary creations. 

In one session, Olivier invited students from UCB to join him in his kitchen to help produce a range of canapes.

Olivier then demonstrated a  how to prepare a blackberry crème patisserie on financier biscuits, a  French recipe handed down to him by his father, also a renowned pastry chef in Normandie.

Other highlights of the day included chef Fergus Martin showing the students the range of stocks and sauces used in a professional kitchen alongside a live cookery demonstration.

And Sam Guarino of Latin kitchen Santa Maria, who describes himself as a ‘foodie and food nerd’, gave the chefs a talk on herbs and spices.

Neil Rippington, dean of The College of Food at UCB, said: “It is a great opportunity for my students to work with such an esteemed chef as Olivier. 

“Our lecturers and students really enjoy quarterly Chefs’ Forum events from both a CPD and learning enrichment stance.”

Olivier Briault said: “The students worked very hard from the moment they arrived with me today.  I am very impressed with the standard of their work and really enjoyed mentoring them. 

“I am very much looking forward to working more closely with UCB as well as other catering colleges via The Chefs’ Forum Academy.”

The Birmingham Chefs’ Forum was launched two years ago to bridge the gap between education and industry and stages some 36 chef networking events a year, across nine areas of the UK.  

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