Eastleigh College Hospitality and Catering students were delighted to be one of eight colleges selected to be involved in an exclusive charity event in Cambridge, alongside eight Michelin Star chefs.
In order to be part of this exclusive experience, students took part in a competition which was set by Passion To Inspire, an organisation that works with colleges, employers and suppliers/producers in the Hospitality and Catering industry. A total of 35 colleges entered, with only eight lucky enough to go through to the final event. Each of the final eight colleges were assigned a Michelin Star chef who worked with them to prepare, cook and serve at a charity dinner, in aid of NSPCC.
Eastleigh College Catering and Hospitality students were excited to work with Michelin Star Chef, Matt Gillan. Describing his food as progressive British, Matt is Head Chef at Matt Gillan at The Pass, a restaurant within a five star country house hotel in Sussex. Students worked with Matt prior to the event to prepare dishes as part of the eight course dinner catering for 150 guests.
After weeks of preparation, three students were selected to travel to the event which was held at the prestigious Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, On Saturday 21st March. On the day, students and lecturers worked with Matt to get dishes ready for service at 7pm, as well as working with front of house teams to prepare the Main Hall for the dinner. Students and lecturers worked tirelessly to ensure everything was ready for the dinner, alongside the other seven colleges, their students and the Michelin Star Chefs.
Aiden Rogers, one of the chosen students, worked in the kitchens alongside the chefs. Talking of the experience he gained from catering at such an event, Aiden said:
"The experience I was offered was one of the best in my career to date. I was a little nervous being directed by Matt Gillian and once we got closer to service it was good to see how other chefs' plate up their food. I was so pleased to be picked by my college lecturers and to represent Eastleigh College. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this experience can help me in the future."
Student Josh Sergeant, who was a Front of House at the event, added: "I learned how to set up for an eight course meal, with eight different sets of cutlery and different wines for each course. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience; I think I will benefit from this in the future."
Sue Lyons, Eastleigh College Lecturer and Course Manager, was with the students at the event and said:
"What a fantastic experience! It was amazing to be part of such a big event in an incredibly beautiful venue, with several other colleges as well as working alongside eight Michelin star chefs. It was a very long and hard working day in which our students really excelled themselves."
The Eastleigh College Board and Senior Management Team have launched an ambitious strategy for the period 2020-24 that sets out the College’s priorities to see more learners, be more successful, more often.
The College has remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic for many learners and as from September 2020 all learners (including those planning to attend at College House) have returned to a full high-quality education programme as per government guidelines.