Part one! Food & Beverage Academy: The Good Bacteria

Exceptional people deserve to have exceptional experiences, and at The Grand Brighton we’ve developed some very exciting academy programmes to enhance the range and depth of experiences that our team are able to enjoy. Our Food & Beverage academy is open to 10 of our team members from our restaurant, room service, lounge, conference & banqueting and kitchen teams, and offers a totally unique course with 9 months of once in a lifetime opportunities to get behind the scenes and have some fun and informative days out with our fantastic local suppliers. The academy teaches our teams where our ingredients come from, methods of food preparation and cooking, how to make their own items of food and even how to source it. They come away with fountains of knowledge and are very happy to pass it on to our customers!

We love following their journey, so this year we’ve asked them to blog about it! Here’s their first experience, written by Gabriela, who is part of our fantastic breakfast team. Gabriela has been part of the team at The Grand Brighton for a year and a half and she loves the traditional foods of her home country, Romania. Gabby also has a passion for travel, experiencing new cultures and experimenting with exciting flavours, especially from Greece which is her favourite destination. This love of food and beverage has supported Gabby’s progression from F&B Attendant to Breakfast Team Leader. Over to Gabby...

"Before telling you what the deal is with the good bacteria, you need to know how the day started...

"The new recruits on the Food & Beverage academy were very excited for their first day on the course. Some were nervous, some were sleepy (it was an early start for some, but not for me who’s used to getting up at 4.30am for the breakfast shift!), and because what we’re going to be doing in each session is a surprise, we were all very curious about what was going to happen next.

"Our first stop was our briefing, where we learnt about the structure of the academy and had a taste of what we were going to experience over the next 9 months over coffee, juice and pastries. Our excitement grew as we got to know each other along with Alan White, Executive Chef at The Grand Brighton, and Pedro, GB1’s Restaurant Manager. They spoke about where their inspiration for the course came from, along with Andi and Sonia from our lovely People team who have made it all happen. There are team members from 6 nationalities on the course and we spoke about our favourite traditional dishes and the inspirational chefs who we admire. I learnt that Pastitsio is one delicious traditional Greek dish made with ground meat and béchamel sauce - and that Pedro has a great recipe!

"Next we had a briefing session on blogging and social media from Sophie, our Director of Marketing, because the course also has content from the wider company in, which helps to broaden our knowledge even further. I learnt some really interesting and useful information about internet use, different social media platforms and the most liked Instagram posts! And I now have the skills to be writing my first blog...

"The next stop was a trip to one of our fantastic suppliers, the small, amazing and full of flavour shop which is The Great British Charcuterie Co, located in Brighton Marina, to discover the stories behind the charcuterie and cheeses we use at The Grand Brighton. A family run charcuterie and cheese supplier, they are proud to work with farmers and small producers to make their 100% British products. Alongside a range of delicious locally made drinks including a wonderful blackcurrant liquor, their finest products come from locally bred, grass fed, happy animals. Only in these conditions can Phil and Simon, the owners, proceed to the next stage - curing the meat.

"This is where the good and friendly bacteria come in! With the help of salt, the good bacteria draw out the moisture of the meat, keeping it on a good level so that the bad bacteria does not spread. It takes 14 weeks for the meat to be cured to perfection, and only a passionate family like the Bartley’s at The Great British Charcuterie Co can do something like that. They have a great range of products like fennel salami, Calcot Farm chorizo, pancetta and Cornish chilli chorizo. We use the ingredients in our British charcuterie which features in our 24 hour conference menus, as a starter we use the fennel salami with piccalilli, we then use pancetta with local cod as a main course, as well as including the Calcot chorizo in our 2AA Rosette GB1 restaurant in one of the dishes. They go perfectly with a delicious English sparkling wine as well, so you can head to GB1 and experience the wonderful products for yourself!

"Alan and Pedro are so passionate about sourcing local produce from local suppliers, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring we use the best quality ingredients in every dish. Sourcing locally is important for us at The Grand, to ensure we support local business growth, develop on the door step experiences, help spread the word and shout about all the quality produce we have right here in Sussex. Finding such treasures makes our chefs jobs a lot easier because they love finding locally sourced produce from someone who really cares and is passionate about what they do. In return they know we will produce a delicious dish…

"We left the day having had an unbelievable experience - which did happen, check out the pictures! And are all very excited about the academy this year and the future days out we will have and share."

Watch this space for more experiences shared by our Food and Beverage Academy team, and to try the delicious ingredients for yourself, book a table at GB1 here.