A six-course spectacular was served up to family and friends of hospitality and catering students at West Nottinghamshire College to celebrate the students’ graduation from college.
Courtesy of four chefs on the Level 3 Professional Cookery course and three front of house students on the Level 3 Hospitality Supervision and Management programme, diners enjoyed the delights of a classic British menu.
Chefs Mo Attiya, (39), Annabelle Pye, Aidan Kemp and Luke Taylor (18) welcomed their parents and the college’s principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley to the fine dining event, which was a small, tailored party in keeping with the Covid19 regulations for gathering indoors.
For starters there was black pudding and ham hock Scotch egg or asparagus, spinach and truffle risotto. This was followed by a second course of beetroot cured salmon or butternut velouté for vegetarian palettes.
The main course consisted of roast cod loin with bacon, chive pomme purée and a samphire and vermouth sauce, slow roast pork belly with courgette, pickled apple, confit potatoes and shallot papillote, a roast breast of chicken with barley, spring onion and chasseur sauce or lentil, carrot and courgette wellington with shitake mushrooms, greens and Jerusalem artichoke purée.
There was a special ‘pre-dessert’ of cream horn, followed by two full dessert choices of vanilla crème brûlée with rhubarb and rhubarb sorbet and chocolate tarte with almond pastry and orange crème fraiche.
Mo is fond of cooking British cuisine, especially pies, while Annabelle is very confident as a pastry chef. Luke specialises in the Scotch egg which he has adapted and was on the menu on the night and Aiden is open to trying out most types and cultures of cuisine and he is currently celebrating having secured a job as chef with Mansfield Town Football Club.
Mo, who settled in the UK twelve years ago after leaving Egypt, said: “English is not my first language, but our tutors have really developed me and they’ve really gone that extra mile during lockdown. Being able to cook at home and be taught through the video links was great.
“I came to the UK seeking a better life and I’m loving learning as a mature student. My dream now is to own my own small restaurant.”
Meanwhile, Level 3 Hospitality Supervision students Rebecca Stoica, Ellie-Mae Robinson and Klaudia Adasiak, all aged 17, welcomed diners with their well-honed front of house skills with gin cocktails and a summer-themed floral decorated restaurant.
Klaudia said: “We all came up with some ideas which represented summer to give the restaurant a cheerful, seasonal vibe. We’ll be serving up a gin of the day which will include orange flavours with grenadine and there will be some mocktails too.”
Ellie-Mae said: “We love meeting people on our course. It forces you to find your confidence and communicate well and pushes you out of your comfort zone. I’ve really developed this side of my character.”
The trio are now busy applying for roles within restaurants and bars locally but all are open to progressing in the industry overseas if the opportunity arises.
Principal Andrew Cropley said: “I really enjoyed the joyous and sumptuous graduation dinner which was planned, prepared and served by our catering students.
“Hearing the tutors’ accounts of these students was extraordinarily moving and the students’ spoke with heartfelt gratitude of their experiences, challenges and self-development through a very difficult year. Everyone recognised the exceptional contributions that the whole catering team have provided, not just with their technical skills but with helping them to overcome significant barriers including language and disability.
“This group has clearly developed their confidence and self-esteem, which will prepare them well for the job opportunities in the industry which are ahead of them.”