When you come to stay with English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in the Lake District or North Lancashire, it’s good to know that the food you are served has been prepared with the greatest care and professional skill.
That’s one of the reasons why we’ve given our group of fledgling trainee commis chefs the chance to run their own restaurant for the day to experience the pressures of preparing and delivering food and drink orders for customers.
The students from our Culinary Academy took control of Kendal College’s restaurant as a food service and hospitality challenge. It was an opportunity for the apprentices to showcase their culinary skills for a full house of diners, with support from Kendal College’s catering students. It’s a key stage in their development to graduate as commis chefs and a crucial element of their overall training which culminates in a fully accredited apprenticeship qualification.
Working together, the team served up a delicious three course menu selection for over 40 customers. A popular starter was Frank Benson’s Morecambe Bay Shrimps with brioche, lemon, dill and cucumber. Main dishes included herb crusted roast rack of Cumbrian lamb or Monkfish loin wrapped in Parma ham. And for dessert, they prepared a lemon and thyme crème brûlée with butter shortbread and steeped raspberries or a passion fruit, mango, oat and honey crumble.
Recent academy graduates Maria Cheetham, who is working and training at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, Jonny Marriott (Wild Boar Inn) and Rebecca Atkinson (The Midland Hotel, Morecambe) were joined by latest recruits Abbie Spencer (The Midland) and Travis Locke (Low Wood Bay).
They were also helped by Charlie Henderson from Samuel King’s School, Alston, who was enjoying a work experience stint with the academy. Bryan Rojas, who is doing his level 3 training at Lancaster House, completed the team.
Group Training & Development Chef Daniel Winstanley, who is also a member of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, explains: “The restaurant takeover exercise is one of the hardest challenges we set for the apprentices. It’s in real time and they take full responsibility from customer order to clearing the plates. Two things really stood out: their collective ability to work under pressure as a team, and that they all clearly thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”