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Family favourites for students’ graduation dinner

Posted: 16 June 2022

The final catering and hospitality graduation dinner was served-up last week as West Nottinghamshire College’s students completed their last session in the kitchen and bar.

Five courses of traditional British fayre was on the menu thanks to chefs on the Level 3 Professional Cookery course, which was accompanied by a range of tasty mocktails and cocktails served by fellow students on the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership.

The theme for the graduation meal was ‘throwback favourites’. The students chose dishes that people typically loved when they were younger. Starters included toad in the hole, fish fingers or bubble and squeak. The entrée course was tomato soup, which came before the choice of four main courses of steak and ale pie, chicken Kiev, salmon en croûte or vegetarian cottage pie.

Diners, who included parents and friends of the graduating students, enjoyed a lemon and lime granita before the dessert choices of apple crumble, melt in the middle pudding or butterscotch tart.

Chefs Phoebe Sandford, Lauren Collins, Katie Holehouse, Clayton Chapman and John Robinson made-up the kitchen team, with James Sharpe, Kelly Nyland, Kieran Peet, Annabelle Pye and Aiden Stirland welcoming guests on the front of house, with their own range of personalised cocktails and mocktails.

Phoebe currently works in the kitchens at Dukeries Garden Centre’s café and aspires to putting her catering skills to the challenge at a high-class hotel, having enjoyed her time at Thoresby Hall Hotel during the college’s hotel takeover.

Lauren enjoys traditional home cooking and created the selection of desserts for the evening. She rates her time at college saying: “it was lots of hard work but so worth it.”

Katie is a full-time pastry chef at Mansfield’s Redgate Inn and highlights patience and communication at the top two traits a student needs to succeed at college.

Clayton’s strength lies in creating fresh, wholesome food, which he currently does at a local children’s play centre. He’s looking forward to passing his driving test so he can aim to seek employment in a wider area. He worked hard on the starters for the graduation menu.

And John, who has just completed his two-weeks training at King’s Mill Farm restaurant gained lots of confidence during his time at Thoresby Hall Hotel. It was his experience during hotel takeover which helped him to achieve his new role. He is encouraged by his dad to aim high, saying: “Dad hopes I could one day earn a Michelin star!”

A variety of welcome drinks came courtesy of the hospitality supervision and leadership students.

James Sharpe stirred up a whisky-based drink called The Godfather, which featured amaretto liqueur and coke.

James would like to go into bar tending and work his way up to a managerial role, saying: “I’m aware that I’ll need to work very hard to achieve it.”

Kelly Nyland, who aspires to own her own business one day, mixed-up a drink with a punch, called My Thai. It contained dark rum, orange liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice and a cherry on top.

Kieran Peet served a drink with a bite called Shark Attack. This consisted of white rum, blue curacao and lemonade, served in a fishbowl glass. His ambition is to one day own a cocktail bar.

Yvie Talma’s raspberry Bees Knees creation was a mocktail, made with raspberry juice, lime juice and honey. Yvie is looking forward to pursuing a career in hospitality, in a bar and to master all the processes to perfection.

Annabelle Pye, who this week has scooped the Best Team Player award at the annual student awards, created the Bay Breeze cocktail. Featuring curacao, pineapple juice and cranberry juice, this gave diners a taste of summer.

And finally, Aiden Stirland also created a mocktail called Engine Powered which include grenadine and lemonade. With him ready to move out of the area soon, he will be concentrating at looking for jobs in Burton.

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