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EC Kitchen Takeover with Blackpool and Fylde College

EC Kitchen Takeover with Blackpool and Fylde College

24th November 2021

Last week Blackpool and Fylde College opened their doors and welcomed Business Development Managers, Kay Derbyshire and Gary Kilminster and Development Chef, Robin Dudley for an inspirational kitchen takeover.

During Essential Cuisine Kitchen Takeovers, our team of passionate chefs work alongside students to create mouth-watering dishes, with the aim to teach the budding young chefs invaluable skills whilst working with guest chefs in their own environment.

We caught up with Jordan Kehoe, Chef Lecturer, to speak about the experience...

Essential Cuisine: How impactful was the Essential Cuisine Kitchen Takeover for your students?

Jordan: For our students, it was their first real interaction with industry partners as we have only recently reopened our restaurant after being closed for two years due to the pandemic. So as you can imagine, there was a real buzz around the place! They were keen to get stuck in, ask questions and rise to the challenge of producing the menu. This opportunity really inspired them to keep pushing and learning all about new products and raised aspirations as to what they can achieve if they put in the hard work at this early stage of their culinary journey.

Essential Cuisine: What does 2022 look like for you and your students?

Jordan: We’re going into the new year with lots of optimism and excitement. It brings changes to our curriculum as we begin piloting our new technical qualification which will provide a substantial industry placement for students and ultimately lead to skilled employment. We have plans in place to host some other incredible kitchen takeovers. We love bringing big names in, working alongside our students in Level 6 restaurant. In the past we’ve welcomed chef royalty Nigel Howarth and Paul Heathcote - so we’re looking forward to getting these events up and running again.

We also start preparing our students for competition work. This is where we see the students come in to their own and really express their creative side which gives them a huge boost of confidence and gives them a real hunger for more.

I also think it’s a key time to build up momentum in the younger generation, I’ll be getting out into primary and secondary schools talking to them about the industry, doing cooking demonstrations and taster sessions. My aim is to start up an allotment where we can offer school visits and really bring home the message of home grown produce!

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

Jordan: My advice would be to keep building key links with industry partners like Essential Cuisine and local employers. Brainstorm with them and have discussions on how you can collaborate and don’t be afraid to try out new ideas. We all have a responsibility to ensure the future generation are given every opportunity to get a taste of what this incredible industry is about.

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

Jordan: It takes 0% skill to give 100% effort. Give your all to everything you do. The knowledge, opportunities and skills will come in time. Also, get in the kitchen at home - even if it’s peeling the spuds for the Sunday roast, you will soon pick up confidence and speed.

Essential Cuisine: Lastly, what stood out for you the most during the Essential Cuisine Kitchen Takeover?

Jordan: What really stood out for me was how student led it was. Kay, Gary and Robin were absolutely brilliant with our students. They made our students the main focus of the day and it was so great to see them rise to the challenges and tasks set. The Essential Cuisine team were clear from the outset that our students would be treated like a proper kitchen brigade like you would expect in industry. They were very supportive throughout and really got the best out of the team.  On behalf of Blackpool and Fylde College, I would like to say a huge thank you to Kay, Gary, Robin and all at Essential Cuisine for the kitchen takeover. It was a very valuable experience and one which left our students absolutely buzzing for more!

Business Development Manager, Kay Derbyshire went on to say, “the kitchen was buzzing with busy chefs perfecting their ingredients and turning them into stunning dishes. The feedback from the guests was fantastic, it is such a great feeling seeing happy faces around the kitchen. You could tell all of the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and they should be proud of what they achieved!”

To discover how Essential Cuisine can support your college and students, click here or email [email protected] 

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