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Food Academy students host the Army Reserves, Signature and BaxterStorey

The Army Reserves 167 Catering Support Regiment, Signature Elton House and BaxterStorey visited our Food Academy students for a day full of industry insight.

The Army Reserves 167 Catering Support is the only regiment providing catering support to the British Army anywhere and in any environment. To demonstrate first-hand the unique role this regiment of chefs play, they put Level 2 and 3 Professional Cookery students to the test with the Ration Pack Challenge. The challenge was set to create a three course meal using only the contents of the ration pack box issued to the soldiers in the field.

Sergeant Peter McAlindon explained: “We are engaging with the Professional Cookery students who are knocking up a three course meal from a 10 man ration pack. They were hard at it in the kitchen for an hour and a half after approximately 10 minutes of first class meal planning.”

Ready and up for the task, three teams of students created a total of 9 dishes. First up was Team A who prepared eggs benedict, with beef and vegetable pie with cheesy mash and gravy and victoria sponge and custard. Next up was Team B with ham and pea soup, marinated grilled chicken with duchess potatoes and grilled vegetables, and chocolate fondant. Last up was Team C serving up eggs benedict, pasta bolognaise and peach and strawberry crumble.

After much deliberation and some tough critiquing from Head of School Andy Wakeford, Team C were announced the winners.

The students were later presented a talk by Restaurant Manager Joshua Mckenzie and Business Administration Manager Hollie Dunton from Signature Elton House care home. Signature, offer an award winning dining experience for its residents which highlighted the opportunities available within hospitality and catering in the care industry.

Restaurant Manager Joshua Mckenzie said: “We have had a great time visiting West Herts College talking to students about working in care at Signature Elton House highlighting the various opportunities we have available. It is an exciting time for us as a business so it has been great to meet young budding students who are looking to really grow and progress.”

To finish off the day students were treated to tasters at the Mexican Kitchen pop up restaurant from BaxterStorey, the UK’s leading hospitality provider for business and industry.  Regional Executive Development Chef Chris MacArthur and Resourcing Manager Amy Primrose explained about the Chef Academy a four-tiered programme to develop future chefs with kitchen finance skills, leadership techniques, culinary talent, creative thinking, nutrition knowledge and communication skills.

Resourcing Manager Amy Primrose said: “It was an absolute pleasure introducing BaxterStorey to West Herts College chefs! Great people, great food and we can’t wait to see the next generation in our business.”

If you want to start your journey to becoming a Chef take a look at Professional Cookery courses here.