Foodie students do just fine by dining charity

Budding chefs from the North East helped a charity gain a few pounds after serving up a fine dining experience for more than 100 guests.

Students from Middlesbrough, Darlington and Newcastle Colleges shared a kitchen with some of the region’s biggest names in food – including Terry Laybourne, Kenny Atkinson, Jonathan Harrison and Frances Atkins.

They gave more than 120 diners a taste of their culinary capabilities at a special Gisborough Hall event designed to raise funds for the Adopt a School charity – which builds cooking skills and healthy eating knowledge by sending professionals into schools.

Molly Shaher, hospitality and catering lead at Middlesbrough College, led the inter-college event with support from The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

She said: “This is the first time this event has been held in the North East, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for catering and hospitality students to get hands on experience and learn directly from the best in the business.

“Our degree-level events management students from Middlesbrough College coordinated the evening, which included a five-course meal, auction and entertainment.

“The guests experienced a top class level of service and we raised £7,500 for Adopt a School.

“It’s a privilege to be able to bring this prestigious event to the region, and benefit so many young people looking to break into the industry.”

Months of preparation went into the night – with each college practicing and refining their addition to the menu.

Middlesbrough College’s team worked with House of Tides owner Kenny Atkinson to create the main course – braised beef cheek.

Meanwhile Darlington College students were helped by Sandpiper Inn chef patron Jonathan Harrison to deliver the amuse bouche and fish course.

And Newcastle College students sweetened the deal with a dessert created in collaboration with 21 Hospitality Group’s Terry Laybourne.

Nick Shottel, operations director at 21 Hospitality Group, and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: “We’re proud to have played a part in this event – which is about building skills in the next generation of catering professionals – and supporting the work of Adopt a School which will leave a legacy in the area.”

Jonathan Harrison added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for young people thinking about careers in the restaurant and hospitality business to get an understanding of what delivering a night like this actually requires.”

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