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“A Passion to Inspire “Upskill Day - The secrets of Japanese Food and Ingredients 14th June 2022 


What a culinary journey that 12 colleges – 36 students and 20 lecturers who were on site and over 30 colleges with over 1400 online watching and cooking live with us- a new way of Inspiring - learning – sharing and meeting some wonderful people including Benoit Blin, Chef Akemi and Adam Smith. 

Planning forward please do not think you have missed it – it is live on YouTube (sound is better when watched on laptops and mobile devices) – so as a learning curve you have the recipes and video – and watch fantastic learning sessions not just with Students and Lecturers but Employers – the great thing about Hospitality is you NEVER stop learning and we all need to be Inspired Passion Upskill Video - Japanese Secrets and Inspiring Students  


One of the great things about all the Chefs cooking and tasting today is that they are all different with their creative skills which is the brilliant thing about our industry. Everyone with us on the day – both in the room and online, had their taste buds and imagination taken to a new level. This shows how wonderful hospitality is as there is no limit to what you can achieve. 

Colleges attending on the day were New Suffolk College, Milton Keynes College, Doncaster College, Lincoln College, North Kent College, Cambridge Regional Colchester Institute, West Suffolk College Suffolk, Isle of Wight College, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire, North Hertfordshire College, University of West London.

Great chefs came together: Benoit Blin and Steve Munkley with these stunning and inspired people cooking, Akemi Yokoyama, Mark Poynton, John Jackaman, Barney O’Connell, Chris Lee, Adam Smith and Charlotte Silvester giving up their time to inspire the students and lecturers – the adventure was all about where, why and how they created their brilliant dishes and to tap into their imagination’.  Whilst they created their dishes, we had the privilege of having The Legend Steve Munkley, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs also discussing the importance of taste and texture and the students career paths. As the Chefs were plating and discussing the Creative journey of their dishes– adding another level of experience, we had wine matches for each dish by Ed Keith from Hallgarten & Novum Wines and great IT support from Bradley Dorrington and Perran. One very special Guest joined us to taste and comment on all these dishes and wines the Legend Benoit Blin Executive Pastry Chef - Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons 


Suppliers and Support  

The event had magical support from Brilliant producers, Stunning Produce, Great suppliers from thank you all so very much – Zen-Noh, Koppert Cress, Japan Food Express and Natural Online shop, The Wasabi Company, Anglia Produce, Dingley Dell Pork and Charcuterie, The Craft Guild of Chefs , Direct Meats, Hallgarten Wines and of course John Jackaman – Infusions Group and the employers who allowed the chefs to attend – MJP @The Shepherds, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons , Infusions , The 3 Blackbirds , Gohan London, Coworth Park.

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Benoit Blin - Executive Pastry Chef - Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons “So happy to have been part of this fantastic opportunity for chef students from all over the country to learn about Japanese food  with Passion2inspire instructive & inspirational day “ 


Akemi Yokoyama - Chef and Founder, Gohan. London “What a day! I was knocked out by the sheer number of the expected online attendees even before we started, but on site all students and lecturers with keen eyes and open minds turned up in their chef jackets! What a site!  Fantastic line up of the chefs, the quality we don’t get to see often in one place, each showcasing their interpretation of bringing the Japanese elements to the dishes.  I am immensely happy to have been given the opportunity to talk about the two pillars of Japanese cuisine: koji and dashi, in line with umami.  

My highlight of the event was many, but at every mouthful I was so looking forward to everyone’s reactions. It was particularly amazing that chef Benoit was taking the audience with the journey through his pallet.  

Thank you Passion2inspire to invite me to take part, and ICE for their invaluable assistance, and for Bradley for the superb IT set up. “ 


Mark Poynton- Chef / Patron – MJP Restaurant  - “It has been an honour to have been involved in “A Passion to Inspire “for the past 12 years and always a pleasure to help, support and inspire the next generation – this has been a very special event and our most Inspirational day ever!!! “ 

Steve Munkley – Vice President Craft Guild of Chefs “What an amazing day, the level of commitment from colleges was brilliant and the students a credit to them. The masterclass by Akemi Yokoyama was mind blowing on Umami, Kombu and Koji complemented nicely by our 4 superstar chefs and Ed from Hallgarten & Novum wines. I am sure this will be an outing the young chefs will never forget” 


Ed Keith   - “Myself and Hallgarten & Novum wines have been proud to support “A Passion to Inspire” over the past few years. Developing and supporting new talent in the hospitality industry is more important now than ever. Personally it’s a real pleasure to work with such a great initiative and a fantastic group of people “  

Lecturer feedback Quotes  - Stuart Ascott – West Suffolk College “Chef Akemi giving a clear, intuitive lesson on umami was amazing, the chefs demonstrating lots of cookery skills, and Chef Benoit’s animated explanations of flavour fantastic! “ 


Anthony Gascoigne – North Hertfordshire College “The Japanese upskill day with Passion to Inspire was a huge success. Our North Herts College students have come away brimming with ideas based on the knowledge gained from the chefs demonstrating. For students and tutors alike the upskill day inspired with the creativity and skills on display “ 


Emily Simkins – Student “The Japanese Upskill day was such a educational day filled with useful information from top chefs and amazingly flavoured food. I learnt so much and was grateful to meet such prestigious chefs” 


Darren Creed – Loughborough College (Online) “The live cooking demo with passion to inspire on Tuesday was such an inspiration to both my staff and students , we learnt so much prior to the event just reading the recipes then to cook along live and taste was superb , we produced the dishes with our own presentation take on what was being shown on the live fed and all students had a great time, it certainly took us all on a learning journey “ 


Kieran Frazier student “best dish was the mushroom and potato dish because it had heat, sweet, salty 3 key flavours in Asian cooking. The chicken broth was nice had a good flavour but if it had longer it would have been so much better “  


William Bolton student “My chicken dish was a little too salty as we found out but the chicken was cooked perfectly the sauce really complimented the dish sweet, Umami and spicy as it had the sweet, spicy, salty, I loved tasting the different t sweet, salty, flavours was so intriguing “

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