Jose L Souto Fellow C.G.C
Jose is Chef Lecturer in Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway College, London with a specialist interest in game.
Jose studied at Westminster Kingsway College where he met the man that introduced him to game, Michael Hollingsworth, Chef Lecturer and Head of Culinary Arts. After leaving the college and doing a stint abroad Jose worked as a Chef at the House of Commons for over 11 years. During his time at the Commons he also work at some of the top establishments in London while on working sabbaticals from the Commons, including the Intercontinental Park Lane, Mosimann’s, The Ritz London and the Savoy Grill. During his time at the Commons he wrote a training manual on Game and through this he was asked to give a lecture back at the college where he started. Not long after this Jose took up a lecturing post at Westminster. Since then he has become one of the leading game chefs in the UK with an unrivalled knowledge of how to cook game, and also about its harvest and preparation.
Jose’s other love is the story of food, and he can be often heard telling his students: “All food has a story to tell and we should know that story so that not only as chefs but as customers of supermarkets and shops, we can better understand our food, its providence and how truly special it is.”
Jose is a Master member of the Craft Guild of Chefs and writes articles for its magazine, The Stockpot. Jose takes Craft Guild Chefs out on visits to experience and see how certain foods are grown, harvested and to give them an understanding on what makes these foods special.
Jose is a keen countryman living in Cambridgeshire with his wife Charlotte and their son Luis.
My connection with seafood
I helped Seafish put together its 2014 Seafood Guide for chefs, retailers and caterers on fish and shellfish found in UK waters and I work with Fish2Fork.
Seafood is an important element of the curriculum for those looking for a career in catering and hospitaity.
The sustainability of seafood is an issue that students, chefs and front of house staff “have to be interested in” and that the earlier they learn about it the better. The more knowledge they have the easier it will be to speak to people. A lot of organisations want to be sustainable they just need accessible information.
I have changed the fish-buying policy at Westminster Kingsway. For all bulk purchases the college now has a rule that the species ordered must be rated 1, 2 or 3 on the Marine Conservation Society’s classification system. Species rated 1 or 2 are considered to be ‘fish to eat’ while those rated ‘3’ are species the MCS believes can be eaten ‘occasionally’.
I have broadened the range of fish species that the students order. To counter over-reliance on a few species a purchasing policy was introduced in which student would place orders for flat fish or round fish that allowed the suppliers to provide a mix of species dependent on availability, seasonality and sustainable levels of fishing. Students then get to see less usual species. for example if witch sole turns up we can explain to the students what it is and what to do with it, encouraging flexibility and a love of variety.
Why sustainability is important to me
Once started on the subject of sustainability it can be difficult to get me to stop!
It is an enthusiasm I want to pass on to my students.
Sustainability is now part of the course at Westminster Kingsway and, like the lessons in how to make a ham or how to smoke a salmon, is considered to be one of the essential elements of making good chefs and good front of house staff.
By the time they leave Westminster Kingsway College’s School of Hospitality in London, I am determined that students will understand not just the importance of sustainability but how it can be achieved.