Chef Pierre Koffmann visited Westminster Kingsway College with his protégé and College graduate Ben Murphy to spend time with students and staff as part of celebrations of 50 years as a chef.
Pierre and Ben spent the morning touring the College’s hospitality and culinary arts kitchens and facilities. They got the chance to speak to students and staff and watch a range of lessons from bakery to barista training. They also dined in the College’s Vincent Rooms restaurant.
As part of their visit, Pierre and Ben also had a question and answer session hosted by Westminster Kingsway College Chef Lecturer, Jose Souto. Pierre shared his experiences spanning five decades both inside and outside the kitchen with anecdotes and advice for the audience. The students also had a chance to speak to Ben, where they asked him about his time working with Pierre, life after studying at Westminster Kingsway College and plans for his future.
Pierre came to London aged 22, for a short six month working trip at the Roux brothers’ Le Gavroche, and ended up staying. He achieved two Michelin stars at The Waterside Inn and then three stars at his own restaurant, La Tante Claire. He also did a 10-day pop-up restaurant on the roof of Selfridges which lasted two months. He has received three Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2016 and is currently celebrating his 50th year in the kitchen with his new book ‘Classic Koffmann’, which he signed for members of the audience after the session.
Ben Murphy graduated in 2010 and worked with Pierre at Koffmann’s at the Berkeley for three-and-a-half years. He won Evening Standard’s Restaurant of the Year 2016 only 10 weeks after opening The Woodford. He also recently won Breakthrough Chef of the Year at the Food and Travel Awards 2016.
Pierre said: “From my tour of the College I can see that it is very impressive. The equipment alone is fantastic and a far cry from when I went to school a long time ago. You can’t learn everything at school, but you can’t learn everything at work either; here is an opportunity to try different skills and build on it at College and at work. The students who study here are very lucky to learn at Westminster Kingsway College.”
Visit the College’s Facebook page for pictures from Pierre’s visit to Westminster Kingsway College.