Next generation of chefs learn from industry experts at University of Derby event

5 April 2018

Guests at the University of Derby’s restaurant in the historic Devonshire Dome in Buxton enjoyed a taste of the future when they sampled a four-course meal prepared by students under the guidance of chefs from three of the region’s top restaurants.

The evening was the first in a series of events to showcase the University’s work in training the next generation of chefs as part of wider activity to address the skills shortage in the hospitality industry.

Students from the Hospitality and Culinary department created their own dishes, working with mentors Rupert Rowley and Adam Harper of Fischer’s at Baslow (Derbyshire’s only Michelin-starred restaurant); Sam Buckley, from the Where the Light Gets In at Stockport, and Chris Bassett, head chef at Hispi in Didsbury.

Chefs in a kitchen at Buxton being taught by experts

Shannon McCormack, a final year BA Professional Culinary Arts student, was one of the students preparing the starter – sous vide and raw cauliflower, soubise puree, almond sauce, beurre noisette powder and pear verjus.

She said: “I am very thankful for the opportunity to take part in this dinner, to show potential employers that graduates not only have the academic grades, but the skills and experience needed to succeed in the industry.

“After working with my mentor Sam, I built up a great understanding of their ethos and focus on simplicity and the seasonality of produce, which my dish was greatly influenced by.” 

Joanne Manser added: “It was such a positive experience working with Rupert and Adam. They are an inspiration, with a wealth of amazing talent and knowledge between them – and they have even offered me a job!”

Ewen Crilley, Programme Leader for BA Hons Professional Culinary Management at the University, said: “The dinner, in collaboration with established hospitality professionals, is part of our commitment to developing a curriculum which supports the industry’s future needs and helps develop tomorrow’s elite chefs.

“It also provided invaluable real-world work experience for all the students involved; they received focused and dedicated mentorship and a true insight into the hospitality industry.”

The Hospitality and Culinary department provides a high quality degree education and practical real-world learning for all its students to develop their delivery, supervision and management skills. Courses focus on ensuring all students take part in placements and mentoring to support their lifelong careers in the hospitality industry.