A new restaurant staffed by local college students has opened at Mid-Kent College.
McLeods restaurant in Gillingham is overseen by head chef Tom Ferguson, and commercial manager at Mid-Kent College Hannah Smith. All other staff are hospitality and catering apprentices and students, who work in both term time and outside it, and are schooled to achieve a standard aiming to be indistinguishable from a professional restaurant.
The restaurant, which is named after the late college principal, Sue McLeod, focuses on food using locally-sourced produce, with as many ingredients as possible coming from Kent, such as fish from day boats in Broadstairs, and wine from Chapel Down. The bread is also baked in-house each day.
Dishes include pork belly, scallop, and peas with cider foam; cured duck breast with confit duck and tarragon emulsion; roasted shoulder of lamb with pomme purée and salsa verde; baked hake with roasted tomatoes and anchovies; and desserts such as chocolate delice with pistachio ice-cream and hazelnut crumb. The restaurant also offers a selection of cheeses from Kent and Amazonian coffee.
The operation is located on the Medway campus of the college, which also has a campus in Maidstone with a restaurant named the Apprentice.
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