12th December 2023
Hospitality stars of the future from South Devon College cooked up a storm in collaboration with professional chefs at Bovey Castle at a special event providing students with a taste of the industry.
The students, from the Level 3 Professional Chef Adults course, along with first year Culinary Skills learners, visited the Dartmoor-based hotel to produce a four-course lunch served to 80 guests. First year chef learners completing a Front of House Qualification at the College also attended this external enrichment event, providing the front of house services on the day.
The students worked in the hotel’s kitchen alongside Bovey Castle Executive Head Chef Mark Budd, as well as four head chefs from the hotel’s sister restaurants within The Eden Hotel Collection – Tim Jenkins from Brockencote Hall Hotel, Keiron Stevens from Mallory Court Hotel and Spa, Sai Nathan from The Arden and Abhijeet Dasalkar from The Greenway Hotel and Spa.
Guests were treated to various culinary delights, including Asian-infused salmon, stir fried vegetables and katsu curry sauce canapés, and a lamb cutlet starter from Tim Jenkins which included Bovey Castle foraged greens.
The fish course, courtesy of Keiron Stevens, was roasted fillet of seabream with white bean truffle broth, and Mark Budd created fillet of beef with wild mushroom, fondant potatoes, Armagnac sauce, Jerusalem artichoke and sunchoke and horseradish ferment.
The meal was rounded off perfectly with Crown Prince pumpkin cheesecake, muesli biscuit and maple ice cream from Abhijeet Dasalkar and Sai Nathan.
The students learned many tips of the trade during the event, including dehydrating sorrel leaves, nettle leaves and hogweed seeds to create a powder to add punchy flavours.
Mark Budd said: “We were delighted to support and coach these young chefs and were thoroughly impressed by their skills and enthusiasm. We look forward to following their careers.”
Student Freda Francis from South Devon College, who won front of house Star of the Day award, said: “We felt good about today, and not nervous anymore.
“It’s been nice to work in a professional environment. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, not pressured, and the afternoon just flowed. We learned new skills and were made to feel at ease.”
The trip was made possible by the College’s funding from the Savoy Educational Trust, which was established by the registered charity for the ‘advancement and development of education, training and qualifications within the hospitality industry’, and which covers chef-related enrichment visits for the students. The event was hosted by The Chefs’ Forum, which connects some of the UK’s finest culinary artists with colleges across the country to inspire the next generation.
Shelly Lee, Head of Curriculum at South Devon College, said: “It was such a wonderful opportunity for the students to visit the commercial kitchens of Bovey Castle. It gave them a true insight into the world of hospitality and they picked up some new skills of the trade during the visit. It also boosted their confidence to work alongside professional chefs at the top of their game.”