Chefs, hospitality pros and food heroes gather at Kitley for grilling, chilling and chocolate

Devon Food Heroes Peter Gorton (Master Chef of Great Britain) and Jim Fisher (Exeter Cookery School) joined other local chefs, hospitality professionals and catering students from South Devon College and City College Plymouth at Kitley House Hotel and Restaurant, near Yealmpton.

The special event, organised by The Chefs’ Forum, saw chefs and front-of-house professionals from across the county rubbing shoulders with catering suppliers and aspiring college students.

The day offered inspiring BBQ demonstrations and a great networking opportunity for South West hospitality professionals.

Kitley House PR and broadcaster, Sharon Goble, and Chefs’ Forum Founder, Catherine Farinha, gave a welcome speech, offering insight into the beautifully-restored country house hotel and the purpose of The Chefs’ Forum, an organisation which bridges the gap between education and industry.

Kitley's Business Development Manager, Laura Goodchild, said: “We were delighted to host The Chefs’ Forum here today and it's fantastic that our new chef, Matt Dell, could be part of it. Completely unphased by twenty young chefs joining him in his brand-new kitchen, Matt really enjoyed the opportunity to work with two local colleges, forging relationships that will continue into the future, with one learner being offered a trial shift at the hotel. A great result.”

City College Plymouth student Paige Pawley has been offered a trial shift by the team at Kitley House based on excellent performance on the day. If successful, The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation will fund her first month’s travel to work.

Chefs’ Forum events build students’ confidence and break down barriers between top local employers and the next generation of hospitality professionals.

The chefs made canapés with the students and TV Chef, Ben Forte, mentored South Devon College students Dylan Roberts and Daniel Chichro, giving them a day’s masterclass of live fire cooking on the Kamado Joe. The young chefs relished the opportunity and contributed to a delicious outdoor feast for all the attendees.

Jim Fisher gave a fantastic chocolate-making demonstration and the day finished with an afternoon tea prepared by the students, served in the beautiful surroundings of Kitley House Hotel, which has recently undergone extensive renovation and refurbishment under new ownership.