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Award winning chocolatier gives catering master class

Catering students from Banbury and Bicester College were recently treated to expert tuition by guest chef Paul Wayne Gregory.

Paul is an award-winning master chocolatier, previously commissioned for the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations and supplier to major corporate companies, top hotels and Michelin starred restaurants.

The chef, based in London, has built a reputation for his edible art, which he demonstrated at the college with a framed picture, made purely out of chocolate.

Paul and his team were brought to the Banbury campus by HB Ingredients and Savona Fine Foods, suppliers to Banbury and Banbury College, as part of an education project to train chefs who work with chocolate. 

Catering student Julie Trytko said: “We’ve learnt today about the different methods and importance of tempering, moulding and enrobing chocolate.”  Fellow student, Danielle Wiggins added: “I’ve really enjoyed today, we’ve been making a dessert composed of chocolate mousse, caramel filled chocolates, a chocolate basket and chocolate decorations.”

Tracey Hughes, from HB Ingredients said: “With Paul’s help, we are visiting universities and colleges to educate the next generation of pastry chefs and chocolatiers.  We are the largest independent supplier of chocolate in the UK and often surprised about the lack of knowledge we find in the industry.

“By working with educators, such as Banbury and Bicester College, we are eager to help train the next generation of chefs in the art of chocolate and chocolate making.”

Accompanying Paul was his employee Samantha Rain, UK junior chocolate master winner, 2014.  She said: “it’s been great working with the students today.  After qualifying with a level 2 NVQ in catering, I started work in the pastry section of London Michelin starred restaurant Auberge.  So I’m living proof to the students what career path is possible.”

Peter Harvey, catering teacher at Banbury and Bicester College said: “We make sure our students understand and experience all areas of catering. Not only to give them a broad base of expertise, but to discover a passion and calling in one particular area.

“The workshop with Paul, Samantha and HP Ingredients is a fantastic opportunity for our students to meet industry professionals and experts in their field.  They’ve been able to ask questions to a master chocolatier, work with quality ingredients and industry equipment.”