Students from across the country have been taking part in virtual masterclasses from some of Scotland’s top chefs, with Fife College one of the latest to get a slice of the action.
Students on the Professional Cookery course at Fife College were in for treat last week when Michelin-starred Geoffrey Smeddle, chef proprietor of The Peat Inn, gave them a virtual masterclass on cooking up a restaurant-quality dish.
The chef gave an online cooking demonstration for the invited students via Zoom, before taking part in a question and answer session.
The event is just one of several planned over coming weeks with some of the region’s top culinary talent as part of a virtual food festival for students.
Other chefs taking part include: Shona Sutherland from Taystful hosting a chocolate masterclass; Marie-Claire James from George Campbell and Sons on a cookery demonstration with fish; Lucy Spendlow from Mitchell’s in St Andrews teaching Asian cookery; Ruairi Mitchell from Haar, St Andrews, also giving a cookery demonstration; and Julie Lewis from The Adamson, also St Andrews, teaching students about restaurant front of house operations and hosting a cookery demonstration.
The masterclasses have been organised by Fife College, with support from Savour St Andrews, Quality Meat Scotland and the Enlightenment Project, as a way of helping students maintain a high-level learning experience, despite being unable to resume to in-class teaching.
Following the event, Geoffrey Smeddle said: “It was great to be able to take part in the Virtual Food Festival at Fife College, and give students an insight into my cooking and the techniques I use.
“It’s always brilliant to speak to people who are so enthusiastic about food, and who are so eager to learn more about the industry.
“There were some really interesting questions, and it a pleasure to be able to help inspire the next generation of chefs from Fife.”
Stuart Gray, a student on the Advanced Professional Cookery course who took part in the virtual masterclass, said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“While our practical lessons have been stopped during lockdown, our lecturers have done well to keep us learning online and we’re looking forward to getting back to the kitchen very soon,” said Stuart.
“However an opportunity for a virtual Zoom demonstration from a Michelin-star chef was a new learning experience and one we thoroughly enjoyed.
“Not only did we see some great skills and new ingredients, but we also got an insight into the importance of good relations with quality suppliers and sourcing local ingredients.
“The demo reinforced a lot of what we have been learning for our course units – invaluable at a time when practical learning can not take place.”
Barry Scott, the academic and quality lead at Fife College for Culinary Arts & Hospitality, said: “We really appreciate the time that Geoffrey and all of our food and drink experts have taken to work with our students.
“With traditional teaching suspended we were keen to ensure that our students still had the best possible learning experience at the College.
“This Virtual Food Festival was a great way to do that, and I want to say a big thank you to all of our partners who made this possible.
“We’re confident that after this our students will be inspired to become the next generation of leading culinary experts in Scotland.”
It isn’t just Fife students that have been benefitting from the top restaurant experience with chefs up and down the country helping culinary students of the present and future enhance their learning experience at home.
In Perthshire, Paula from Cardo restaurant met with students at Perth College virtually to share her career journey and how the business has adapted through the pandemic.
Paula from #CardoRestaurant #Perth met our Hospitality Management + Professional Cookery students via #CiscoWebexMeetings to share her journey in the #HospitalityIndustry + how her restaurant adapted during lockdown. #ThinkUHI #StudyOnline #IndustryInsight #LocalRestaurant pic.twitter.com/AJnLTFVQot
— Perth College UHI (@PerthCollegeUHI) February 18, 2021
In Edinburgh, Tom Kitchin helped teach a young group of girls from Wardie Primary how to make a delicious brunch.
Thanks to ambassador @TomKitchin for working with our @WardiePS girls group today.
The girls enjoyed learning how to cook Tom Kitchin’s favourite breakfast/brunch, Poached eggs on toast with Parma ham, tomatoes & rocket salad. #HereForGood pic.twitter.com/dwVopvIGJD
— Spartans Community Football Academy (@Spartans_CFA) February 18, 2021
And Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean also teamed up with Isle of Skye chef Calum Montgomery to discuss cooking and inspire current Glasgow students who are also working from home.
— Gary Maclean (@Gmacchef) February 18, 2021