Dutch Chef visits FVC cookery students

Dutch Chef Visits students

Dutch Chef visits FVC cookery students

Dutch chef Dennis Van Doeselaar dropped in to give a guest lecture to eager Forth Valley College trainee chefs recently.

Dennis (51) who along with his wife runs the very popular Buitenhotel (outside hotel) in Les Nourrits, about two hours south of Paris, was given a tour of the FVC Stirling Campus kitchens, gave an inspirational talk and took questions from students, before enjoying lunch at the Gallery Restaurant.

Unfortunately his friend and popular Dutch TV chef Job Pattinasarany – who creates cooking programmes for the What You Eat Today show on the Dutch 24 Kitchen TV channel, was unable to join him at the college due to a flight cancelled ironically by the recent Storm Dennis – so a planned cooking demonstration at the campus had to be cancelled.

The visit was made possible, due to the 30 year friendship Dennis has enjoyed with FVC Creative Industries Lecturer John McCall. They met when John set off to back pack and work around Europe in 1989, with a view of ending up in Italy for the 1990 World Cup to watch Scotland play.

He met and quickly became friends with Dennis while both were working in a youth hostel in Rotterdam. Last summer John headed to his bespoke hotel in the Bourgogne region of France to catch up with his old friend and he invited him to come over to visit the college and impart his wisdom and experience to the cookery students.

Dennis, who has spent 30 years working his way up to become an expert chef with his own TV aspirations and also catering for his chalet guests at his much sought after hotel, was delighted to pass on his knowledge.

He said: “I think it is very important to give something back to students and give them the benefit of my experience. As I am a pacifist I chose not to do compulsory military service in Holland and go down the civil service route working in a youth hostel … where I met John!

“I washed dishes and cleaned kitchens and did all kinds of things, but I had a passion to become a chef and I have worked my way up over the last 30 years to now run a hotel, which grows its own fruit, vegetables and herbs and sources sustainable local produce.

“For me the most important thing for the students to have is respect for the ingredients they use and for their fellow workers – being a team player in the kitchen and working with a smile on your face is important too, especially in the hospitality business. If they do this they can flourish.

“I am always trying to bring laughter and humour into the kitchen and for people to enjoy working there when cooking food and I think it is important for students learning their trade, to find a kitchen where they enjoy working and they have a good mentor who will help their development.

“It has been great visiting the college here at Stirling, catching up with John again – which was the biggest surprise of my year in 2019 - and meeting the students and Ype van der Schaaf, Chef Manager here at Forth Valley College.”

John McCall, added: “It was my 50th birthday last year and I went on tour in Europe to catch up with old friends. I had been in touch with Dennis on social media, but had not seen him for 27 years, before I turned up at his hotel last summer. We had a great time and it was too good an opportunity to miss not to invite him across to Scotland and come in to see our cookery students.”

Ype van der schaaf, Forth Valley College Chef Manager, said: “It was great to welcome Dennis to the Stirling Campus and to talk to our students and we were sad to hear Job could not make it. Dennis had some great stories to tell and I am sure they will benefit from hearing about his experience and what to expect when they complete their courses and head out on their own careers.”


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