Celebrity chefs Stephanie Moon and James Tanner visited Goldsmiths on Wednesday night as part of their new BBC show ‘Chefs’.
The show sees celebrity chefs going head to head in a competition to prepare and cook for a room full of guests in a range of secret locations over a twelve part series.
The names of the award winning Stephanie Moon and the ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ regular James Tanner, were shrouded in secrecy right up until the start of the event. Their identities were only revealed when they presented their menus to staff and students.
The variety and delicious smells were a welcome change to the usual mundane food that the refectory has to offer. The presentation of the dishes simulated meals found in a five star restaurant but were made on a very tight budget and with a student in mind. Stephanie Moons’s Jerk Chicken dish, for example, was finished with a splash of beer.
The two chefs each offered a vegetarian option, a meat option and a dessert that they had devised that morning. Diners chose which one to order. The meat and vegetarian options had set prices (£3.55 and 3.84) but the desserts had a minimum price of £2.00 with the option to pay more and some guests paid between £5 to £10.
The prize for making the most profit went to James Tanner. All profits go to the chefs’ nominated charities.
Goldsmiths staff and students hope that last night’s event might have some effect on the standard of food normally served on campus. EastLondonlines spoke to some Goldsmiths students about how the chef’s menu compared to the usual fare offered in the refectory.
Liron Zisser, 22, Media and Communications student said: “Even though they have used the same ingredients the cafeteria usually does, the quality was just so much better, Stephanie Moon’s Bean Cake was healthy and delicious!”
Marrietta Kamara, 20, Psychology student told East London Lines: “It’s great as it’s real gourmet food! It has much more flavour and I think its healthier too. I noticed that we have got larger portions so more food for your money.”
Mariana Meneses, 28, Visual Cultures student said: “I think the food portions are fairly similar to what we usually have. I loved the fresh flavours in the vegetarian option. The relation between price and portion is much better.”
Lillian Santos Herberg, Arts Administration and Cultural Policy student also told EastLondonLines: “From the little experience I have had from eating the food here, I would say that food tonight feels and looks healthier than the meals I usually see here.”
Kathryn Darling, Corporate Communications Officer at Goldsmiths, told East London Lines that the evening was a great success with over 100 students and members of staff coming together. “Goldsmiths’ dedicated catering team worked hard throughout the day as sous chefs and waiting staff, and James Tanner paid tribute to their efforts and remarked on the impressive venue in his closing speech. We’re looking forward to seeing the show air early next year.”