5th July 2016
South Devon College hosted an end of term Gala Fundraising Dinner at Horizons Restaurant, featuring the ‘Stars of Today’ – renowned chefs Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix and the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ – South Devon College Hospitality and Catering students Charlotte Jewel and Abigail Hookins. The dinner was a celebration of skills achieved through the Mitch Tonks Seafood Academy at South Devon College.
An acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, Mitch Tonks has a love of seafood and an insatiable desire to share that passion with others, which is evident across all of the restaurants in his group; from his flagship restaurant The Seahorse to The Spiny Lobster in Bristol and the Rockfish restaurants in Dartmouth, Torquay, Plymouth and Brixham. Mitch is committed to giving back to the community, which is proved through the work he does at South Devon College where he helps to train chefs and hospitality experts.
Mark Hix is best known for his original take on British cooking and celebration of British ingredients. As well as writing a column for the Independent, Mark has written a number of cookbooks and runs restaurants in Dorset and London. His eponymous Soho restaurant HIX and Mark’s bar in Brewer Street is favoured by film stars, artists and chefs from all over the world.
Student Charlotte Jewel joined the Professional Patisserie Level 2 in September 2015, with no previous catering experience. Charlotte’s highlights of the course so far include winning the ‘Gold’ award for her mini pastry assortment at the Young Chef competition, along with ‘Best Static’ overall. Charlotte said, “I have had so many great experiences since starting the course, including catering for large functions and completing work experience placements in local patisseries and large hotels. These experiences have provided me with a clear focus of where I’d like to work within the industry.”
Abigail Hookins has been a student at South Devon College since she was 12 years old, progressing from the Junior Chef Academy through to Level 2 Professional Cookery and Hospitality. Abigail has worked in high quality restaurants in London working alongside professional restaurateurs. Abigail said, “I have learned a lot from this busy year at College and feel ready to move into full time employment as a Level 3 apprentice. My lecturers have helped find me the perfect placement and without them I wouldn’t be the confident chef I am today.”
Guests heard about the work of students and staff over the year, including National Award Winning success and work placements at high profile venues such as Fortnum and Masons and London’s Waldorf Hotel.
The dinner raised approximately £1,200 for Friends of South Devon College. The Friends of South Devon College is a charitable trust established in 2008, whose main aim is to raise funds to remove barriers that may restrict students from participating in educational and enrichment experiences available at South Devon College.