Chichester College puts on the Ritz

Chef Giles Thompson, pictured right, behind the scenes at the event, hosted by Chichester College.
Chef Giles Thompson, pictured right, behind the scenes at the event, hosted by Chichester College.

There is no greater way of encouraging tomorrow’s chefs, sommeliers and front of house staff than to ask them to prepare and serve a banquet under the watchful eye of one of the industry’s giants.

Chichester College’s students were given just such an opportunity when a former executive chef at The Ritz Giles Thompson helped them create a dinner of superb quality.

Giles, now owner and executive chef of The Earl of March at Lavant (pictured right), was determined to sprinkle some nostalgic magic on the occasion as well.

So under the title ‘Putting on the Ritz’ he drew for his inspiration on the hotel’s menu archive from 1978.

A Timbale of Crab, Lobster and Crayfish was followed by Tournedos Rossini, Potato Gallette, Buttered Seasonal Greens and then Dark and Bitter Chocolate Fondant all washed down with an impressive flight of wines.

Giles and another of his team were with the students all day demonstrating and mentoring. They also had the support of College Head Chef Sean Denny who was the GB winner in the Chaine Commis Chef (now Young Chef) competition back in the 1980’s when working with Anton Mossiman at The Dorchester.

Hosted at the College’s impressive Sixty Four restaurant and bar and in association with the Chaine des Rotisseurs guests paid £45 a ticket for the feast.

At the heart of Chaine philosophy is the encouragement of young talent in the catering and hospitality field.

Giles said: “We thought we would have an educational evening and pass on some of our skills to the upcoming generation of Chichester chefs at the college.

“We wanted to ‘Put on the Ritz’ and show them some real classics and really take things back to basics. So no foam or floss!”