Catering students meet industry experts

Catering students at Bath College have spent an inspiring few days meeting top chefs and training providers.

The college used its links with catering and hospitality experts to organise sessions with industry heavyweights for employability week.

Students met professionals from independent businesses, including Claire Wilkins, from the Olive Tree, and Stuart Ash, head chef at Woods Restaurant.

They took part in customer service training with The Pig near Bath and learnt how to cook on the go with soldiers from 105 Battalion Reme.

Students also welcomed Andy MacKenzie, executive chef at The Exclusive Chefs’ Academy, who spoke to them about training at the academy.

Bath College already has two former students studying at the Chef’s Academy, run by Exclusive Hotels and Venues Group.

Sam Graham and Lewis Sparey were selected out of hundreds of applicants to start training at the academy in 2014 and 2015.

Lewis, now 20-years-old, started his training working with award-winning executive chef Richard Davies at the Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe.

He said: “It’s definitely not in any way shape or form easy work, you get pushed to get the best out of you, and you’re expected to rise to the opportunity you’ve been given.

“It’s been a really good experience and one that has definitely given me a boost.”

Mr MacKenzie said: “We come to the college because we want to find talented chefs and we want to raise awareness.

“We need to nurture the young and they do a great job of this at Bath College, as we know from the track record we have already.”

George Ormond, 17, is studying for a level 3 diploma at Bath College and is thinking of applying for the Chef’s Academy.

He said: “It’s good to meet the people running training schemes we’re looking to apply to next year and to meet all the suppliers. You wouldn’t get that normally.”

Bath College lecturer Kean Maslan said: “Employability week is a great opportunity for the students to talk to people about their chef experience.

“They need to hear what these top chefs were doing at the age of 16 to make their goals appear obtainable.”

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