Learners cook up a storm in the kitchen as part of industry-leading events

Learners from Cheshire College – South & West’s Hospitality and Catering department have been cooking up a storm as part of various industry-leading events over the past month, including securing over 20 medals at the Welsh Culinary Championships and working in collaboration with Liverpool Football Club and the Adopt a School Foundation to host another fantastic gourmet evening.

First and second year chefs competed in the Welsh Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo earlier this month and went on to secure 6 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze medals over the two days of competition.

Each team was challenged to cook a three-course meal for 90 people using mainly seasonal ingredients from their region, under the watchful eyes of a panel of experienced judges.

Ryan Procter, 16, from Crewe, studying Level 1 Professional Cookery said: ‘’This is the first competition I have been involved in and it was fantastic!

‘’It was great to experience what it is like when cooking under pressure and I got to put the skills we have been taught back in the classroom into practice.

‘’I won one silver and two bronze medals, which has massively improved my confidence. I cannot wait for the next competition, I will be aiming for gold!’’

On Thursday 14 March, Academy West hosted an Adopt a School Foundation Charity Evening in-conjunction with Liverpool Football Club.

This event was set up for an excellent charity and offered our learners a wonderful opportunity to create and develop the six course menu, visit Liverpool Football Club and prepare the dishes with the Club’s talented staff in their very own kitchens.

The College prides itself on strong links with industry and ensures learners are exposed to and benefit from this. Level 2 and Level 3 learners were invited to visit a range of restaurants in Chester, including Hickory’s and Bar Lounge, to taste test the menus, in preparation for an upcoming competition.

The first heats of this competition will be held in the Academy West Restaurant, at the Ellesmere Port Campus, on Tuesday 26 March. Learners will compete for a place in the final and a chance to get their dish featured as a special on the menu at Bar Lounge.

Learners have also been involved with filming a 13 part series based on Eastern and Western style baking, in collaboration with Harthill Cookery School and Malaysian Chef Norman Musa. Learners were invited to the school last week, to help prepare dishes, set up shots and assist the other chefs involved.

This particular opportunity came after the College launched their partnership with top chef Brian Mellor, providing learners across several departments the chance to work and train alongside professionals, where they are able to gain invaluable experiences.

Brian Mellor commented: ‘’I love being able to provide opportunities like this to learners. I want to inspire and motive young people, so I actively seek out experiences that I think will be beneficial for all involved.

‘’Being part of the East West Bake series has been fantastic. The learners were eager to participate and enthusiastic when supporting myself and Head Chef, Norman Musa.’’

Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal Curriculum, said: ‘’It is great to see our learners getting involved with the wide variety of opportunities we are able to provide alongside their core study programmes.

‘’We have had a really exciting year full of competitions and events, with new initiatives and partnerships continually arising, and we’re looking forward to what can further be achieved throughout 2019.’’

If you are interested in Hospitality and Catering courses available at Cheshire College – South & West, call our hotline on 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) or 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses) or visit ccsw.ac.uk.