Stonegate pub company has just seen 15 chefs graduate from the Stonegate Pub Company Chef School.
The 12-week course culminated in two celebratory dinners held in Manchester and London, where the courses were run in conjunction with Trafford College in Manchester and Westminster Kingsway College in London.
The chefs designed, created and implemented menus that showcased their new skills.
The team of seven who studied at Westminster Catering College produced a starter of seared supreme of salmon with Bearnaise sauce on a bed of vegetable spaghetti; a main course of rabbit with Dijon mustard, roasted new potatoes, thyme, rosemary, garlic in jacket jus served with Crecy potatoes and medley of spring vegetables; and strawberries Sarah Bernhardt complete with spun sugar.
In Manchester, the team of eight chefs created a starter of pan fried mackerel served with an orange and fennel salad; a main course of chicken cooked two ways with a blue cheese mousse and Chasseur sauce accompanied with pomme duchess potatoes and roast Mediterranean vegetables; and for dessert a lemon tart with berry compote.
Perry Huntley, head of catering at the Stonegate Pub Company, said: "Both dinners were just incredible and the chefs really took their menu innovation, preparation and delivery to the highest level the catering team and I have seen so far.
"I'm always impressed by the resource and knowledge that we can tap into from each of the college teams, which then enable our chefs to learn some invaluable skills and techniques.
"The Chef School has become such a badge of honour and recognition with our business. Time after time we take keen and willing chefs from our businesses and put them through their paces. There is a real emphasis on practical cooking skills as well as making them feel proud about themselves and helping them to realise they can quickly pick up and become expert in new skills.
"It really helps them grow as kitchen leaders, giving them greater confidence and an even greater pride in what they do back in our kitchens. These skills also enable the chefs to progress their careers and a number of them have gone on to be area chefs within the business."
By Neil Gerrard
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