16 years after graduating from the Hurst Campus (or as it was then known, the Culinary Academy), Chef Halima Ferreira came back to Hurst for a visit. We are very proud of our graduates, and all that they go on to accomplish after leaving Hurst.
Since graduating back in 2003 Halima has been on a whirlwind adventure around the world, from the UK to Saudi Arabia and Portugal to cooking on the high seas. Halima is excited to focus more on plant centric food and menu creation as she moves forward, an excitement she shared with the Hurst students on her visit. She is currently in the process of making a move to the USA where she plans to open a boutique style cafe and clinic which will offer plant based nutrition and support to make a holistic lifestyle change.
Halima’s visit to the Hurst Campus served as both an invaluable learning opportunity to the students as well as an opportunity to give back after her years of experience. She spent the day devising a plant based menu with the students, talking about the importance of plant based menus. Halima believes that a plant based diet is best for our health and for the planet. She works closely with local suppliers in her working life and loves to support local businesses where she can, to help champion sustainability and reduce impact on the environment.
The menu featured an entrée ‘from the garden’; king oyster mushroom scallops with garlic, chilli and lemon on a swirl of sweetcorn puree served with a mixed micro green salad.
The main course featured a fusion between a waffle and falafel, termed the ‘fawaffle’. This was served with aubergine fetteh, coconut yoghurt and aubergine with fresh tomato, mint garlic, shredded pitta crisps topped with crispy onions and sumac.
The ‘sweet ending’ were phyllo cups filled with an orange blossom semolina cream and figs, dusted with ground pistachios and rose petals.
The students even created petit fours with Halima, serving medjool dates with a variety of fillings; first macadamia nut dipped in chocolate then almond and black and white sesame seeds topped with a tahini drizzle. They also served them filled with walnut and ground pistachio.
The opportunity to learn more about plant based food proved to be an incredibly topical one for the students, not just in the context of today’s planetary needs relating to sustainability and the need to eat and produce consciously, but also in the context of the commencement speech given at their graduation shortly afterwards, in which they were urged to ‘live life on the veg’ by Kathleen Quillinan of the Pesto Princess.
The students were also able to ask Halima questions about working abroad, the realities and the opportunities as well learning about working in industry. Halima spoke about her years of working as a chef abroad and it served as great inspiration to the students.
It was such a treat to have Halima come and visit the Hurst Campus, and we know that our students gained invaluable knowledge from the visit. We wish Halima all the best as she embarks on the exciting next chapter of her life.
Halima is a food architect, personal chef and consultant operating out of the UK, with her own business, Tailored Taste. Tailored Taste caters to the discerning customer by combining a high priority approach to customer service with delicious, mouth watering dishes that reflect high aspiration and culinary skill. Halima believes strongly that all of her dishes should be both nutritious and delicious. Whatever your occasion, be it a birthday celebration, engagement, corporate event or romantic meal for two, Halima believes that your experience should leave you feeling happy, satisfied and looking forward to your next culinary delight. Learn more about Tailored Taste at tailoredtaste.co.uk