Two Master Chef brothers joined forces to show Academy Nathan Outlaw at Cornwall College students how to create a complex chocolate masterpiece that would be the attraction of any dinner party.
The workshop, organised by Grant Mather, Curriculum Area Manager for Hospitality and one of the brothers’, was held in preparation for the students’ practical assessment that is coming up in the summer that will see them look to create something similar.
The siblings, Stephen and Grant Mather, who are Master Chefs of Great Britain, combined their talents and lead the chocolate workshop to Professional Patisserie and Confectionery Diploma students enrolled in Academy Nathan Outlaw from both the St Austell and Camborne campuses.
Stephen Mather, Executive Head Chef at Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University, got into the catering industry after coming out of the Army after breaking his leg and failing the medical. He explained: “I followed Grant into catering after my accident in the Army and have never looked back, working in various hotels including Tregenna Castle and ending up in Cambridge with the De Vere Group. After years of working in hotels and restaurants I then moved into working in universities starting at Pembroke College and now at Sidney Sussex College.”
He continued: “I have always enjoyed working with pastry, but got in to chocolate only about five years ago. I have done quite a few courses with Barry Callebaut at their chocolate academy and have just built my knowledge up from there. There is always something to learn or perfect with this art.”
During the day-long class Stephen and Grant worked towards designs that the group helped construct on the white board and went through step by step the different techniques required to achieve the wow factor.
Grant commented: “Stephen showed the students the importance of tempering the chocolate to create the snap and then went on to use moulds and detailed how to prepare them with coloured cocoa butters. He also showed them how to create chocolate spaghetti by freezing the chocolate on a piece of marble, the use of the cooling spray and how to shape the chocolate to create the petals.”
As well as teaching, Stephen also competes in competitions around the UK and won the title of TUCO Chef of the year in 2008 and has entered many competitions since. He now manages the Cambridge University culinary team and competes all over the country. Stephen added: “You need to show that you have used different techniques for your centrepiece creation and if made and stored correctly it can last three months.”
The students watched on in amazement as Stephen and Grant finalised two very different creations and having seen them being built right in front of them they now have plenty ideas for their own inventions.