Published on August 26, 2022

North Hertfordshire College’s Catering department was proud to be selected to participate in A Passion to Inspire’s recent Upskill Day, themed around Japanese cuisine! 

NHC was chosen as one of the 12 colleges to join the chefs of the day, with over 30 colleges and 1,400 students watching the livestream. Attendees and viewers witnessed the creativity and talent of experienced chefs including Akemi Yokoyama, Mark Poynton, John Jackaman, Barney O’Connell, Chris Lee, Adam Smith, and Charlotte Silvester in a series of skills demonstrations. 

As the chefs prepared their dishes and shared top tips for cooking Japanese cuisine, Steve Munkley (Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs) led a discussion on the importance of taste and texture in cooking – crucial for any chef to think about when creating their own dishes! Our student chefs also took part in a discussion about the career pathways that are open to them after they finish their studies at college. 

Preparation and cooking complete, the experts plated up their dishes and discussed the creative journey that led to their final products. To top everything off, Ed Keith from Hallgarten & Novum Wines, provided wine pairings to compliment the flavours of each dish.  

Emily Simkins, Level 2 Professional Cookery student at NHC, said of the experience: “The Japanese Upskill Day with Passion to Inspire was such an educational day, filled with useful information from top chefs and amazingly flavoured food. I learnt so much and am grateful to have met such prestigious chefs.” 

Anthony Gascoigne, one of NHC’s Catering tutors, agrees with Emily about the benefits of the session. He said: “The Japanese Upskill Day with Passion to Inspire was a huge success. Our NHC students have come away brimming with ideas based on the knowledge gained from the chefs demonstrating. For students and tutors alike, the upskill day was inspiring through the creativity and skills on display.” 


If you’ve got a passion for Hospitality and Catering and want to take it to the next level, why not join a Hospitality & Catering course at North Hertfordshire College?