We’ve kept our hospitality and catering students busy since September, with students of all levels taking part in a range of events at the college and in the community.
Students started with the Bath Good Food Awards, held at the new Apex City of Bath Hotel just a stone’s throw from the college. They had to be on top form, working alongside several head chefs in the kitchen, including the new Head Chef at the Apex Hotel, Ben Abercrombie. Students on front of house duties were serving restaurant owners, food critics and industry experts, as well as Michelin-starred chefs Nathan Outlaw and Angela Hartnett. All students were a credit to the college and were given a standing ovation for their work at the end of the awards ceremony.
Our Deputy Head of Hospitality and Catering Ryan Hanson has also been busy visiting restaurants shortlisted for the Bristol Good Food Awards. Ryan is a judge for this year’s awards, and is working alongside a number of familiar faces. These include Rupert Taylor, Head Chef at the Abbey Hotel in Bath, who spent his early days studying at Bath College. Ryan is doing a great job networking, representing the college and has been able to enjoy some fantastic food so far!
Taking part in events gives students the chance to meet local chefs, experience working under pressure to a busy schedule and rise to the challenge. Over the last couple of months, students have had some great opportunities to develop their employability skills. These include:
• Serving industry professionals at a charity polo day raising over £50,000 for Hospitality Action. The event was a chance to work alongside chefs from the Calcot Spa Hotel, Cliveden House, Lucknam Park Hotel, Whatley Manor, The Manor House in Castle Combe and the Abbey Hotel in Bath.
• Students served a three-course meal at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant for Seafood Week. The event, supported by the Billingsgate Seafood School, tested students’ skills in preparing and serving seafood, including lobster, seabass and haddock.
• We’ve called on the skills and expertise of our catering and hospitality students at a number of college events, including our annual Celebrating Success Awards. They did us proud on the evening, serving hand-made snacks and drinks to special guests and award winners.
• Hywel Jones, Executive Chef at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, stepped out of his kitchen to work with students in November. Under his guidance, students prepared a gourmet four-course menu for guests at the Shrubbery Restaurant.
• In the run-up to Christmas, we’ve been busy with Christmas lunches serving up to a 100 covers per day. We hope you’ve enjoyed the chance to relax and enjoy a traditional three-course lunch designed to get you in the festive spirit!
Students have a busy new year ahead of them in January, as employability week starts the first week in January. They’ll be working with an exciting list of local chefs and industry professionals from the Pig near Bath, the Abbey House Hotel and the Scallop Shell. We’re also very excited to welcome Mark Tilling, winner of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème in 2016, who will be leading a chocolate masterclass.
Keep an eye on our website and social media channels, as we have several lunches planned from January. On January 18th, we’re collaborating with The Pig near Bath. Look forward to an exciting menu inspired by British garden food. Chefs at The Pig use produce from their extensive vegetable and fruit beds, and go to a special effort to make sure that their menu is sourced locally.
Members of the public can book tickets for meals inspired by Mardi Gras, St David’s Day, the Caribbean and a great British summer gourmet dinner throughout the new year. The Shrubbery Restaurant is open for lunch Monday to Friday during term time, so do pop in to see us!