Michelin star chef supports new catering academy

Tom Kerridgeweb

East Berkshire College is delighted to announce that award-winning chef Tom Kerridge, owner of the two Michelin-star Hand & Flowers in Marlow, will be a patron of the new Hospitality & Catering Academy at Langley College.

The Michelin-starred chef and regular on the BBC's Great British Menu will be working with the College to help develop new talent for the industry and is set to visit Langley College on Thursday 3rd October to officially open the new academy in Station Road.

The partnership will mean budding head chefs and those aspiring to a career in front of house service will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, through a series of special masterclasses and enrichment activities.

Tom, who also has a new book out and a TV series called Proper Pub Food about to air on the BBC this week, is passionate about inspiring young people and believes 'being a chef isn't a job, it's a way of life – you have to love it.'

Tom explains: "I am pleased to be able to support East Berkshire College's new Hospitality & Catering Academy. Working with the College is a chance for me to give something back and inspire the next generation of chefs and front of house staff. We have a talented team of individuals at the Hand & Flowers and they are looking forward to sharing their knowledge with students who are at the very beginning of their careers.

"I started cooking at a young age, but I didn't realise it was the career for me until I went to catering college and got an evening job in a kitchen. Having the right attitude and working hard is the key to succeeding in this industry. You have to love what you do!"

College Principal, Kate Webb, enthused: "We are very excited about our new Hospitality & Catering Academy and we are absolutely thrilled to have Tom Kerridge and his team at the Hand & Flowers involved in the project. Tom is an outstanding role model for our students, showing them just what hard work and determination can achieve."

"Our new facilities will enable more young people in this area to train for careers in this growing sector and through our partnership with leading industry figures; we hope to give our students the best possible start to their careers and inspire them to achieve their full potential."

The College's Hospitality & Catering Academy will be working in partnership with patrons from some of the most prestigious restaurants, contract caterers and hotels within the region to provide an enhanced learning experience for students. Caroline Fry, Chief Executive of leading corporate and commercial catering company CH&Co, is also a patron of the academy, representing the contract catering sector.

The new state-of-the-art Hospitality & Catering Academy is part of the College's £30m investment in its Langley College. Helping to meet the training needs of local businesses in this thriving sector, the facility will accommodate professional training kitchens and a working restaurant. Providing a real work environment for students, the restaurant will be open to the public and serve a range of delicious seasonal dishes at competitive prices. All food will be cooked and served by talented students under the supervision of industry-trained staff.

As a thriving industry both locally and nationally, the hospitality and catering sector offers a variety of career paths in hotels, restaurants, bars and conference centres. The College's new courses reflect this, covering a wide range of aspects including food safety, professional cookery, food and beverage service, housekeeping and front of house operations.

Prospective students, businesses and local residents are welcomed to check out the new look Langley College at a special Open Day on Thursday 3 October from 4pm-7pm. As well as guided tour of the new facilities, visitors will be able to watch demonstrations and find out about over 800 full-time and part-time courses, including apprenticeships. For more details call the College on 0845 373 2500.

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