French chef puts on masterclass – Chichester College

French chef puts on masterclass - Chichester CollegeAn exhibition by French master chef, Alexis Caquelard, wowed local catering employers with a vegetable cutting masterclass

The French chef and lecturer, who is widely regarded as being one of France’s premier gastronomic craftsmen – and officially the best butcher in France, made his way to Chichester College along with six of his own catering students earlier this week.

Based in the heart of the College’s catering department for the afternoon, Mr Caquelard, guiding the visiting caterers through the use of a translator, started the demonstration by precisely cutting into an onion to make the base for a ‘flower’, a stunning white creation completed with just a few strokes of his sharp knife.

Once the base was complete, chef Caquelard then moved on to a number of different vegetables of which he worked on with fascinating skill and precision. In one case he held up a common-looking bunch of celery – the same that you would pick-up off the supermarket shelf – and within a few seconds had struck a number of swift cuts to transform it into the stem and leaves of a very true-to-life flower arrangement.

For the local caterers this was a fantastic opportunity to witness up close a skilled craftsman with an international reputation. Not least due to the fact they got to perfect these skills throughout the demonstration as they were each paired with a student from Chef Caquelard’s college, Centre de Formation et d’Expertise Culinaire in Dieppe.

This was the culmination in what has been a fantastic partnership between the UK and France that has seen both staff and students from each country visit Chichester and northern France as part of a European funded project via the Interreg programme. The project is called NTA (New Technologies for apprentices), a two and half year project which will come to an end in March 2015.

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