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Special Upskill Day - 6th February - Inspiring Young People's Taste Buds and Imaginations

New City College Redbridge


What a wonderful Inspirational day – so many students and lecturers had such an adventure – and you see the picture above also inviting students down to taste – a very busy  day and over 140 students and lecturers – to start with we had Chef Akemi – so talented – and her main role was teaching Umami – Salt-  Sweet -Sour -Bitter and what was so great when she explained we were able to invite guests down to taste her fermentations – and watching them tasting was wonderful – and seeing their faces as they taste was magic what a journey for their culinary imaginations and their futures.

Through Ed Keith – we had stunning wine matches for all the dishes – and wine from Japan – Grace Wine – and we only invited lecturers down to inspire them as they tasted food and wine together – Magic – and please check the recipes for the wine Links !

Great support from all at Redbridge College and hosting the event – thank you all so very much – and we had 2 chef students on stage and they were brilliant and also Inspiring Media students as well – all taking Great pictures and Videos and they had a great adventure.

The next adventure with Chefs Shida and Yamamoto – who had flown all the way from Tokyo in Japan to take all on a wonderful adventure of great food.

The skills on show were stunning – cutting and preparing of vegetables and the fish prep and lightly salting the Salmon – Tuna etc – then the next level preparing for the excellent Sushi dishes – was stunning – such talented and creative Chefs – flavour – texture – and they produced so many portions of food – so all could be invited down to taste – and learn – what an inspiring and great day – all learnt so much and new ways of prep and seasoning fuelling their imaginations.

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Masaru Watanabe – Principle – Sushi College 

“What an inspiring day we had at Redbridge College with Murray Chapman presenting another Upskill day for student chefs, sharing our expertise in sushi.  We were very grateful to be supported by Ben English from Marrfish with some amazing seafood and we were also joined by Chef Akemi who presented two sessions on building flavour, using Koji and Umami.  It thrills me to see such interest from young chefs, who were so engaged and showed real interest in our Japanese food culture.  Our chefs are now in planning for several more demonstrations, and we are looking forward to welcoming any enquiries from students who are interested in joining our college, set to open in September.”

Andrew Green – Chief Executive Chairman – The Craft Guild of Chefs 

“Seeing first hand the expertise of the Japanese Chefs, using techniques that many will not have witnessed, and engagement of the students and lecturers was immense, and proves just why this event put on by Passion to Inspire is so invaluable. Students had the chance to taste first hand Sushi made to order, hear about fermentation and have a discovery into a new style for them”


Steve Hobbs – Grande Cuisine Academy 

“ as always great to be involved with these events and hopefully inspiring the next generation with fabulous workshops and presentations.  Thank you to all the Passion to Inspire team for allowing us an audience and opportunity to present the Grande Cuisine Academy to chef lectures and students.”

Chef Akemi Yokoyama 

"It is always wonderful to meet students in person, and witnessing their excitement and engagement firsthand makes all the effort truly worthwhile. Japanese cuisine, particularly the aspect of fermentation upon which our food culture is based, is new to most of them. Learning the basics is fundamentally the most useful tool to move forward. What a fantastic day! Thanks to Murray and Passion to Inspire for inviting me to participate."

Ed Keith – Hallgarten Wines 

“A truly inspiring day. Knife skills, fish preparation, questionable dancing, sushi making, Kombu and Koji techniques and incredible wine of course! Really enjoyed showing how the wine worked with the different flavours and textures. I could see the students taking in all the different aspects and learning a great deal. A real eye opener.”


Ben English – Marrfish 

“ We pride ourselves on the quality of our fish, so I am super excited to see how the chefs take what we deem to be everyday species and add their own Asian twist!”

John Feeney – Superstar Chef

“Best in class collaboration with our industry, partners, suppliers and Chef community investing in the talent – now, next and future ! Culinary cross-pollination for our chef community, investing in talent for the next generation in a healthy and sustainable environment ! Culinary is a craft and profession.  It is also important to feed the next generation with knowledge and recalibrate a more sustainable way of learning. “


Mark Fletcher – Lecturer – Loughborough College 

A passion to inspire lives up to its name! 

A fantastic event that brought the finest minds in Japanese cuisine together. The craft and care of the food scene in Japan really came across, from the koji fermentation, dashi and the true craft of sushi was displayed to us along with the passion! our learners were truly educated and definitely inspired, all came away full of ideas and wanting more ! Now that’s a passion to inspire !! “

Justin Mundy – Lecturer - Wiltshire College 

“The students from Wiltshire College in Salisbury, received a warm welcome from the staff at NCC Redbridge, they had a great day learning all about Japanese knives, garnishing, Dashi , how to make the perfect sushi rice and much more. They got to try and taste a variety of flavours and ingredients and got up close with the Chefs from the Tokyo College of Sushi and Washoku London, as they demonstrated making the sushi. Thanks to Murray for organising and hosting.”

Maurice Haskew Senior Curriculum Manager New City College: Redbridge

The finely crafted skills of sushi and Japanese flavourings were demonstrated by the guest professional chefs organized by Murray Chapman from Passion to Inspire "A Passion To Inspire". Supported by fresh fish suppliers, fine wine merchants, and officials from The Craft Guild of Chefs, The Craft Guild of Chefs - Craft Guild of Chefs Worshipful Company of Cooks Welcome to the Cooks' Company along with guests from the hospitality industry, visiting us and bringing to the fore the amazing professionalism and facilities of New City College.


I was also fortunate to meet up with old friends from the Craft Guild of Chefs and also was able to meet new colleagues who will help us drive the Hospitality & Catering mission forward for the next generation.


A special thank you to:


• Jackie our DP for allowing this to take place during a normal working day and having faith in the Catering Curriculum Team.

• Gabor for the skills needed to manage the Box tech and direct the filming.

• Redbridge media students for filming and photo work carried out

• Duane and the Estates team for setting up and dismantling the event especially moving the mobile kitchen with so much enthusiasm.

• Bradley and IT for stepping up when we needed their support, as always.

• Nadeem and the whole security team for organizing additional parking and understanding the needs of this event.

• Lydia for giving up her classroom for the day with her usual understanding and smile.

• To our Redbridge Hospitality and Catering team for their ongoing and undivided support.

• To the Hackney Hospitality team for keeping the ship steady whilst this is going on.


Jacqueline Mitchell Deputy Principal New City College: Redbridge

I would like to express my thanks to you and your team. I managed to sit in  for a bit and it was a very professional, exciting and brilliant event! I am so pleased that students were given the opportunity to learn new skills and take part 

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