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Students start the new year by getting a flavour of the Hospitality and Catering industry

Hospitality and Catering students have started the New Year on an exciting note as they began the term with Industry Week, which highlighted the wide variety of jobs in the industry, while developing the skills students have learned even further.

The week saw a variety of top chefs such as Rob Kennedy, James Goulding and Luke Matthews, and a range of suppliers: Hampshire Fare, Owtons Butchers, Harvest Fine Foods, Ioshen Knives, Essential Cuisine and Winchester Distillery, joining the College to inspire the next generation of industry professionals.

Throughout the event students watched product and equipment demonstrations as they learnt about the upcoming trends in the sector and the importance of sourcing locally. For example, Winchester Distillery enlightened the students on the process of distilling gin, while Hampshire Fare discussed the origins and the 28 year history of the organisation, the new 2019 local produce guide produced by the organisation and the many different career paths available in the Hospitality & Catering industry.

Tracey Nash, Commercial manager at Hampshire Fare, a not-for-profit organisation developed to raise awareness in the county and beyond of the range of food, drink and craft made in Hampshire, commented:

“It was great to visit Eastleigh College and I hope that Hampshire Fare’s visit has opened the student’s eyes to the variety of different and exciting opportunities in this industry. Hopefully, we have also broadened their knowledge on local produce and shown them what a fantastic food scene they have on their doorstep!“

In addition, the week gave students the opportunity to work with top chefs, such as James Goulding, Chef Director of THE PIG hotel, and Rob Kennedy, Culinary Director for Compass Group UK, providing students with an exciting and excellent learning experience and an insight into what working at an award-winning restaurant would be like.

Rob Kennedy commented:

“I really enjoyed the visit to Eastleigh College; It has great facilities for its catering students and the lecturers are very passionate and on trend with food fashions and cultures. Visits from professional chefs, like myself, offer us the chance to talk about our own chef journey from start to finish and hopefully accelerate the passion and interest of the students to enjoy everything they do on their culinary development and future career paths.”

Second year Hospitality and Catering student, Georgia-Mae, significantly benefitted from the week. She explains:

“I found the week very helpful for us students. In particulate, I loved Rob Kennedy’s visit as he demonstrated a couple of basic dishes and elevated them using every part of each ingredient so there was no waste. I also found him inspiring, he showed us that as long as you work hard you can achieve your goals.”

Eastleigh College prepares students for the workplace and its contacts in industry have proven invaluable, with students utilising this for routes into employment and work experience placements. 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.