The group of 12 catering students took over the Emsworth hotel’s lunch service on Thursday 3rd October.
This was Level 3 professional cookery student Luke Galea’s first experience of working at The Brookfield Hotel Takeover.
He said: "It went really well – I blowtorched a few mousses, which is always fun. Events like this gives you experience that you don’t necessarily get in a learning environment. You get some experience and knowledge while having a fun time. It also helps you to gel with the rest of the people on your course.”
The restaurant was so impressed with fellow culinary student, Niamh Watson, they offered her flexible part-time employment, allowing her to gain experience alongside her qualification at Highbury College.
Niamh said she found working front of house was a useful skill to have for her future career.
She added: “When I first started off I was shy, but now I’ve come out of my little shell, because you interact with people and you learn what happens behind the scenes. Opportunities like this make everyone on your course feel like a family. It’s important that everyone works together and just be this amazing one big family.”
The group of 12 students prepared, cooked and served three-course meals to 70 guests.
Restaurant Manager Andy Goulty said: “I really enjoyed working with the students and I was extremely impressed by how they all pulled together to deliver such a professional experience. They are a very talented group who I’m sure have very bright futures ahead of them.
This is the sixth year that The Brookfield Hotel has hosted ‘College Takeover Lunches.’
Head Chef Tim Butler said: “It’s not that long ago that many of my team were at college, so this is a wonderful opportunity for The Brookfield to give something back. Working with seasonal produce is very close to my heart and I had no doubts that the students would come up with some really interesting dishes, using British produce. I enjoyed welcoming them into my kitchen.
The Brookfield Hotel Takeover event coincided with British Food Fortnight, and was exclusively offered to Highbury College students on the Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery.
Proprietor of Celebration Caterers, Wiltshire said: “I’m an ex-catering student of Highbury College and have supported this wonderful initiative, of The Brookfield Hotel, every year. The students and lecturers do an exceptional job, in creating and delivering excellent lunches, each year. I particularly enjoy chatting to the students and learning of their ambitions within the catering industry. I believe the students gain, tremendously from this experience.
Culinary tutor Matt Sussex added: "We’re very grateful to The Brookfield Hotel for providing our students with this work experience. This is just one of the many opportunities our students have to work in professional kitchens. They all really relish the chance to work together and to challenge themselves in a real working restaurant environment."
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