Three colleges have been shortlisted in the AA College Restaurant of the Year 2018, following a day-long competition held at the Principal London hotel on 20 June.
Fifteen college restaurants were invited to the judging day following the initial entries which included providing details of why they think they should win, their best three dishes from their menus and details about an event they had been involved in that benefited the industry, local community and their students. They were also asked to submit a promotional video for their college.
On the day, each restaurant was also tasked with creating a new restaurant concept for two-Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, where they had to think about a restaurant name, style, price point, target market, menu idea and signature drinks.
Wareing, who was at the competition, delivered a talk to attendees about his experiences in hospitality and the importance of setting goals, before answering questions from the students.
He said: "I am a big believer that education starts in schools and colleges and not necessarily in the workplace. You've got a long road in front of you, and time is the most important part. You need to enjoy your time at college and absorb as much as you can out of the lectures.
"It is important to set goals, and to do a job that you want to do. Do your research before going somewhere to work and build a solid CV by getting as much interesting experience as you can. Experience is money in the bank."
Judge Sean Wheeler, director of people development at Principal Hotels, added: "The competition is a great way to showcase the great work the colleges are doing. I was so impressed with the students. Confident, strategic, commercial and passionate about hospitality. The colleges are doing a great job developing our future talent."
The 15 colleges that took part:
Ayrshire College - Salt & Barrel
Ayrshire College - Inver
City College Norwich - The Debut
Cornwall College - Trevenson
Fareham College - Avenue 141
Hertford Regional College - The Atrium
Hugh Baird College Liverpool - L20
Leicester College - Taste
London South East College - BR6
Milton Keynes College - The Brasserie
Peterborough Regional College - Parcs
Trafford College - Aspire
University College Birmingham - Atrium
Warrington and Vale Royal College - Buckley's
Vison West Nottinghamshire College - Refined
Sean Wheeler, chairman of the Hospitality Accreditation Panel and director of People Development - Principal Hotels
Rob Flinter, general manager, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Julian Tomlin, general manager, Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey
Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy - People 1st
Andy Doyle, membership operations manager - People 1st
Stephen Wilkinson, senior hotel & restaurant inspector - AA Hotel Services
Garry Baldwin, senior hotel & restaurant inspector - AA Hotel Services
Alistair Sandall, head of professional development - Institute of Hospitality