Darlington College students turned up the heat in the kitchenPrint Page
Catering students battled in the kitchen in a test of their culinary skills.
Darlington College catering students cooked for an army of guests as part of a Hell’s Kitchen competition.
Two teams of Level One VRQ catering students used the college kitchens and a special field facility set up by Army chefs from Catterick Garrison.
On the menu was restaurant-standard food that was served to about 60 guests at the college’s Glasshouse Restaurant on the evening of the 26th of February.
For the 19 students it was the first opportunity to experience the real heat of the kitchen, where they were judged on the quality of their food by the public and also how they worked under pressure by professional chefs.
Special guests included Danny Parker, head chef at House of Tides in Newcastle, a former catering student at the college who appeared on the BBC programme MasterChef the Professionals, reaching the semi-finals.
He was accompanied by head chef Paul Rowntree, from The Keys Restaurant, Darlington.
Team B was under the watchful eye of Darlington College tutor Lee Coutts, while Team A was under the command of Army masterchef Sergeant Pete Kell, who is also an Army Reserves liaison officer.
Mr Coutts, a former Army chef, said: “Because the students are new to catering they haven’t had a chance to gain any real work experience. This competition recreated the pressures of a working kitchen and it was both challenging and rewarding for them.”
Sgt Kell helped his team prepare a five-course meal in a field kitchen attached to the restaurant.
“We produced exactly the same standard of restaurant food in the field as in the college’s kitchens,’ he said.
There will be another Darlington College ‘Hells Kitchen’ in the near future. If you are a caterer and wish to be involved, an employer that can offer opportunities to develop our chefs, or a guest that wishes to have priority notice of our catering functions, then please forward your details, titled ‘HELLS KITCHEN’, to email@example.com.