Last week, Robin Dudley and Gary Kilminster were invited by City College Southampton to host a three day workshop for catering students across all levels as part of "industry week". As well as hosting interactive workshops, the duo demonstrated trending recipe and product applications.
Gary Kilminster commented, “It's always a pleasure to be able to help and support our catering colleges train and prepare the students for the world of hospitality. To be able to put something back into the industry is brilliant".
Day one was focused on classical cookery for the level two students, offering full autonomy over their dishes. After being in college for three months, the team wanted to push the group out of their comfort zones and get them to use the skills they have learnt so far to create their own food.
The level one students and the adult apprentices, were tasked with creating their own style of street food - something that these students haven't experienced before. It was brilliant to see how well the students adapted, asked questions and came up with some really great dish concepts.
We caught up with Simon Hart, Chef Lecturer at City College Southampton to find out his thoughts about the workshop.
How impactful was the Essential Cuisine workshop for your students?
The impact was huge. The workshop and interactive activities gave the students the opportunity to build on their personal development skills, preparing them for the workplace. The students were all pushed outside of their comfort zones and managed themselves well during the session even though for many this was their first time creating their own dish.
What does 2023 look like for you and your students?
We're busy finishing up assessments for both our level one and two students, as well as running events within the restaurant and hub spaces. We are also looking forward to the 'intercollege competition' and 'lecturer’s CPD day' later in the year - again supported by Essential Cuisine.
What makes this industry worthwhile for you?
I have found that I am always learning. I also love sharing knowledge and getting the opportunity to work with other like minded people. I love being hands on and having the opportunity to create dishes from scratch.
Do you have any advice for fellow food lecturers / teachers?
Share knowledge and ideas to give all hospitality students the best opportunity to succeed.
Do you have any advice for future chefs and people wanting to enter the industry?
Listen to your teachers, take notes, ask questions, get involved and show passion in everything you produce. Try your best in everything you do. The more you put in the more satisfaction you will get in your studies and future job.
What stood out for you the most during our workshop?
I admired how Gary and Robin related to the students on a chef-to-chef level and encouraged everyone. I also enjoyed learning about the versatility of the Essential Cuisine product range, and the exciting applications and dish concepts they can be used in.
We would like to thank you for your invaluable session - it was great that you could be with us over the three days. We also had some really great feedback from the students and they were still talking about it the following Monday during tutorial!
If you would like our team of chefs to visit your school, college or university, simply get in touch - [email protected]