A trio of pop-up dining experiences at Chichester College have come to a close with a tasty endorsement from a leading chef.
A team of chefs from Exclusive’ Chefs Academy took over the college’s kitchens and restaurant, giving catering and hospitality students a cooking masterclass.
Diners, many of whom are regular visitors to the college’s 64 Restaurant, were able to enjoy a five-course tasting menu which was prepared and cooked by a team of 10 students under the guidance of seven academy chefs led by Andy Mackenzie, executive chef for Exclusive Hotels and Venues Chefs’ Academy.
Andy said: “It’s always great to work alongside the next generation of hospitality professionals, both front of house and back.
“Chichester College are certainly working hard and doing everything they can to ensure their students are industry ready. Everyone involved is doing a great job, especially the students.”
The evening was the third pop-up event to be held in the college restaurant, with Historic Sussex Hotels and the Sussex Pub Company previously taking over the kitchen.
They were organised by college lecturer Paul Rennie, who wanted to give students the opportunity to work with some of the best chefs in the region.
He said: “Giving our students opportunities to work with different chefs is something I believe will only make them stronger.
“They’ve had the chance to work with different ingredients and learn new techniques – as well as gain an insight into what they may expect from working in the industry.
“Since the first evening in November, we’ve seen the students grow in confidence and ability – it makes me very proud.”
Student Lauren Hewitt has worked at each of the events, in both the kitchen and front of house. She added: “It’s been really good. Really hard work but I have enjoyed it and we’re grateful to the chefs for coming to the college and working with us.”
Dishes were served to more than 60 guests in 64 Restaurant by hospitality students, who worked tirelessly alongside Vincenzo Losito, restaurant manager at Lainston House in Winchester, to ensure the diners enjoyed first-class service all night.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, chief executive officer for Chichester College Group, was among the guests. She said: “Each of these three special evenings has really showcased the outstanding talents of our students.
“It is important our students are able to leave college with the skills, as well as the qualifications, that they need to enter employment – and events like this help to give them vital experience that they can take forward.
“It has been wonderful to see them all embracing these opportunities and we thank each of the companies for supporting us.”