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Dozens of budding chefs attended a masterclass at Merton College’s Hospitality and Catering Academy as part of Wandsworth Council’s Young Chef of the Year competition. Students from seven of the borough’s schools donned their chef whites and learnt how to prepare sauces for fish, make canapés and expert knife skills from the College’s chef lecturers and students, in their second master class of the competition – preparing them for the grand final.

Merton College’s catering students explored the kitchens of the Royal Albert Hall that have whipped up meals for famous actors, musicians and royalty during a behind-the-scenes tour of London most prestigious entertainment – finding out how the kitchens work and even visiting the Queen’s private rooms.

Young chefs received expert advice as our Taste Restaurant hosted an industry event attended by top chefs and food industry professionals. Organised by the Chefs’ Forum, an organisation that brings together top chefs and catering colleges to support the next generation of young chefs, and held at the Merton College, guests were invited for a day of cookery demonstrations, chocolate tasting, a butchery masterclass and expert-led forage at nearby Morden Park.

Budding chefs and front of house professionals from Merton College have an exclusive opportunity to design, cook and serve a menu at the prestigious Investec Derby Festival held at the Epsom Downs Racecourse. 

A violin repair tutor from Merton College has been lending his talents to a music school in Uganda, training none other than Charles Dickens. Keith Graves swapped the Merton College swapped for two weeks at the Kampala Music School teaching student Charles how to repair violins and helping maintaining work on their violins, cellos and basses. Having a famous namesake isn't the only reason people are talking about Charles – thanks to Keith, he is now the only trained string repairer in East Africa.

Hospitality and Catering students from Merton College produced a stunning four course meal under the supervision of acclaimed chef Bruno Loubet to raise almost £1000 for charity. The students withstood the heat in the kitchen to cater for 64 lucky residents and employers from the local area who were invited to the student-run Taste restaurant at Merton College. The event was organised to raise money for Action Against Hunger, fund new equipment for the students and to give them vital experience of working at a large-scale catering event.