Hospitality & Catering students at Warrington & Vale Royal College had the opportunity of a lifetime last weekend as they joined Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge at his Pub in the Park festival in Knutsford.
Celebrating the very best food the country has to offer, the three-day event featured a stellar line up of world-class chefs, Michelin-starred pubs, plus a selection of other top UK pubs and restaurants, all serving their most popular dishes.
Students Kaci Duane, Kieran Payne, Mikolaj Mozul, Reece Moore, Tiegan Owen and Tom Purslow represented the college at the three-day event. Kieran, Mikolaj and Reece worked alongside Michelin-starred chefs Angela Hartnett and Paul Ainsworth, whilst Kaci, Tiegan and Tom worked beside celebrity chef Stephen Terry at his pop-up restaurant, Pané by the Hardwick. Stephen’s festival menu featured dishes such as Crispy Pork & Black Pudding Tortilla, Salt Beef Croquette and Tomato Arancino.
Despite the pressure of serving thousands of visitors under Stephen’s watchful eye, former Birchwood Community High School pupil Tiegan commented: “Stephen was so funny and made us feel really relaxed. Our pop-up had big speakers playing music and we were given glow sticks, whistles and air horns. It was such a great atmosphere.”
The students’ hard work and talents certainly didn’t go unnoticed – all six students were offered work placements at Stephen’s the Hardwick Restaurant in Abergavenny, Wales, as well as potential job opportunities at Angela Hartnett’s Cafe Murano in London, upon successful completion of their Level 3 Diploma.
Reflecting upon his Pub in the Park experience, former Beamont Collegiate Academy pupil Tom Purslow said: “What an experience! We got to meet with and work alongside some of the country’s best chefs. It was a great confidence boost and has made me more determined than ever to follow in their footsteps and succeed in the industry.”
Warrington & Vale Royal College is still enrolling for school leaver and adult courses starting this September, to find out more, visit www.wvr.ac.uk.