First-year hospitality and catering students are cooking up a storm at London South East Colleges’ flagship Hospitality, Food and Catering Career College this term. The College has its own contemporary BR6 Restaurant and Bakehouse as well as state-of-the-art training kitchens, industry-standard equipment and a team of expert tutors to help transform young cooking enthusiasts into the top chefs of tomorrow.
Rhys, Gabriel and Paige are part of a new cohort of students starting their careers with us this term and it’s ‘so far, so good’ as they get their feet well and truly under the table for three years of intensive study and on-the-job training.
Rhys, from Lee, was inspired to work in the catering industry by his uncle, who once ran his own restaurant. “I’ve always wanted to be a chef,” he says, “I want to establish my own ‘high-end’ restaurant one day and make a massive success of it. I’ve made a great start to this course; it is non-stop and I’m loving every minute.”
Gabriel, from Brockley, is also aiming to become a chef and has spent much of his youth working for his family’s Italian restaurant in south London. He says: “I think being a chef is in my blood as it’s something I’m very passionate about. This course has been absolutely brilliant so far. After just half a term I can really see the benefits it provides. I always knew I would learn by working alongside experts who teach you the skills as you go along. It’s amazing how much you learn when you know you have to use your knowledge every day.”
Paige, from Mottingham, is still undecided as to what she would like to specialise in but is taking advantage of the broad range of areas the course covers. She says: We get to take part in a number of activities that include front-of-house and kitchen duties as well as learning a variety of culinary specialisms such as pastry, fish, sauté, meat, vegetable and grill. We also explore different professional chef roles such as line, commis, sous, and executive.
“The facilities here are much better than in most professional set-ups and we get to work with real clients. We are trained how to deal with awkward customers, how to handle stress and be organised. The course includes just about everything there is to know.”