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EC Kitchen Takeover - Weston College

2nd March 2023

In November, Robin Dudley and Gary Kilminster were invited into Weston College in Weston Super Mare to present two interactive demonstrations to level 1 and level 2 catering and hospitality students.

Before the students got stuck into their briefs, Robin and Gary gave an overview and history of Essential Cuisine before embarking on a tasting session of the products they would be using.

Level 1 students had 3 hours to create 4 sauces, a fish based sauce, a cream based sauce, a classic sauce and a vegan sauce. Students were given a larder of ingredients which contained fresh fish and shellfish, smoked bacon, chicken, fresh vegetables, and an extensive dry goods list. The students used the Essential Cuisine Signature Stock Reductions, Vegan Stock Mixes and Premier Jus range as well as the Lobster, Game and Wild Mushroom Glaces from the Glace range.

Level 2 students were tasked to create 2 portions of a street food dish using the Essential Cuisine Street Food Chef range, from a box of ingredients within 2 hours.

Last month, Robin and Gary returned to Weston College and were joined by Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, where they guided level 3 students to create a 3 course menu!

Gary Kilminster commented, "Across all three levels, the students did an amazing job! Not knowing what they would be working with, and cooking, we really pushed the students to call upon their learning to date and getting them thinking of flavour combinations as well as how textures and colours affect each dish". 

"The level 3 students did an excellent job in creating the 3 course menu, the food was to a very high standard and the students had an added pressure of cooking for four members of my family who live in Weston Super Mare who I had invited as guests."

We caught up with Peter Goodship, from the faculty of service sector to find out his thoughts on our kitchen takeover.

How impactful was the EC Kitchen Takeover for your students?

All three levels enjoyed themselves. The level 2's have been able to perform under the pressure style testing again, a great skill for when in employment, we never fully know what a day may throw at you (incomplete deliveries, extra custom than expected etc). The level 3's have been looking at how many elements make up a plate and have started to implement this into their own upcoming menus. 

What does 2023 look like for you and your students?

Level 1 gear up for summative assessment of 8 final dishes, understanding their stocks and sauces is key for this, so thank you for your masterclass on that topic. Level 2 move forward to adding their own lunch time items to the menu and carry on with pressure tests, building on key industry employment behaviours. Level 3 each design an evening menu as well as cater for functions, building on industry skills for restaurant service and banqueting.

Do you have any advice for fellow food lecturers / teachers?

Use your local employers for assisting the curriculum. Use employers and great guys such as EC to come in and do work with your learners. Having them in helps show what we all tell.

Do you have any advice for future chefs and people wanting to enter the industry?

Aim high!! Study well, for the most part, I would suggest starting with full time studies, ensuring that any chef equips themselves with the knowledge and skills to work in a professional kitchen. After completing a level 3, move on to higher education with culinary arts or food science. If higher education is not for you, finish your studies in the workplace with an apprenticeship, ensuring that you continue to learn while in the working environment. After your first 3-4 years, head off around the globe and get some experience of other cultures ad foods to add your skill list.

Lastly, what stood out for you the most during the kitchen takeover?

The quality of the sessions led by the team. EC have a good understanding of a training kitchen and how approach our students well with challenging activities. Many thanks again for your help this year, it has been great having you all in.

If you would like our team to run a kitchen takeover in your school, college or university, just get in touch - [email protected] 

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