Essential Cuisine Kitchen Takeover

28 Mar 2023

During February and March, our Catering department invited chefs from Essential Cuisine into their kitchen to guide students through the process of creating a three-course meal for diners.

Essential Cuisine chefs, Gary Kilminster, Robin Dudley and Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, drew on their professional skills and vast experience to help our Level 2 Catering and Hospitality students to prepare, cook and serve a three-course meal. The meals were cooked and presented with a high level of creativity and precision, and served within the North Star Campus Restaurant.

Diners were treated to a delicious starter of wild mushroom panna cotta, a stunning main course of roulade of bacon-stuffed chicken served with savora mash, roast carrot, wilted kale and chicken jus, finishing with a show-stopping coconut rice pudding with mango, brandy snap and peanut crunch.

These inspiring sessions gave students the opportunity to showcase to both the chefs and diners the skills they have gained since starting college, as well as learn new skills. Speaking about their experience, students commented ‘We found it very valuable to learn new skills and techniques such as how to make brandy snap tuiles. We also enjoyed having the opportunity to use different equipment and learn how to overcome difficulties such as portion control, and understanding how to communicate within a professional kitchen.’

After the session we caught Essential Cuisine chef Gary Kilminster to hear his thoughts.

Why do you think such events are important for students?

It is increasingly reported that the hospitality sector is suffering a skills shortage, with fewer students and apprentices making their way into and staying in the industry. That's why our team of passionate chefs dedicate time to work with catering students, passing on valuable culinary knowledge and skills. We aim to bring the working kitchen to life and make it something to aspire to be a part of. Essential Cuisine are proud to continue to supply valuable knowledge and support to colleges, their lecturers and students.

Do you think students benefit from being a part of the Kitchen Takeovers?

We try as best as we can to treat students like chefs not students. We hope they benefit from hearing about how our careers were formed, and how we got to where we are today. We try to inject fun, humour and a variety of skills into each session which they may have not been taught yet. Robin Dudley, one of our Business Development Chefs attended New College Swindon, so it's a good way of showing the students what they can achieve if they have the passion and drive as Robin does.

Take a look at our Kitchen Takeover photo gallery below!

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