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Catering Students work with Professional chefs at The Universal Cookery and Food Festival

Professional Catering students recently teamed up with top chefs as they took part in the Dingley Dell’s BBQ Competition at this year’s Universal Cookery and Food Festival, Westlands.

The competition takes place annually and is hosted by Dingley Dell, a family based business from the East coast of Suffolk that produces fantastic, welfare-friendly pork. Students and industry chefs (known as ‘The Dirty Dozen’) created some delicious pork dishes that were enjoyed by local restaurateurs, industry professionals and foodies alike.

Murray Chapman, the founder of “A Passion to Inspire”, a non-profit making, voluntary initiative developed to bring education and industry closer together, was behind inviting the students to work on the pork dishes alongside award winning chefs. When asked about the event Murray commented,

“These events are a great opportunity for students. They have the chance to not only meet and work with great chefs like Mark Poynton, Andrew Nutter, Eric Snaith and Russell Bateman, but also potentially meet their future employers. These events also teach students about great suppliers and animal welfare. Having the chance to work with the Dingley Dell brand and famers gives students a greater understanding of food source. Hopefully they all do this while having fun!”

A team of Level 3 Professional Catering students teamed up with top-chefs Mark Pynton and Adam Lestrelle, to cook up tasty dishes such as pork in a tarragon and white wine vinegar sauce with parsnip puree. 

Second Year Professional Catering student Tara Passotti, loved the event and the experience she had working with industry chefs. She commented,

"Working with professional chefs was not only inspiring, but also allowed me to strengthen existing skills and learn new techniques.”

Throughout the day the students had the opportunity to explore the Festival, as they watched product demonstrations, met the professionals and foodies in the industry, tried the equipment used by top chefs and witnessed the modern, upcoming trends in the Hospitality and Catering sector.

When commenting on the Festival, Greg Cheeseman, Lecturer in Hospitality and Catering explained,

“It was a fantastic day and a great event for the students to attend! Getting students work-ready by working alongside professionals in the industry is invaluable. It’s important to show students what the industry has to offer and showcase what it’s like working in that kind of environment.”

To find out more about how the College supports its students into work, or to learn more about our Hospitality and Catering courses, please click here.

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