Students at Chichester College were ‘Putting on the Ritz’ when they welcomed chefs from the Earl of March into their training kitchens for a very special dining experience.
A team of first and second year hospitality and catering students worked under the tutelage of Giles Thompson, owner of The Earl of March and former executive head chef at The Ritz in London, and his team of chefs to prepare a stunning three course menu.
The diners – mainly members and guests of the Solent branch of Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international gastronomic society dedicated to bringing together people who appreciate wine, cuisine and fine dining – were hosted at the college’s 64 Restaurant and served by hospitality students.
Autumn Roberts, 17, is in her first year at the college and loved the experience. She said: “I loved it! I mainly worked on the canapés, but it was a lot of fun.
“It was a really nice experience to work with the other chefs, and get to know how other people work in the kitchen.
“I’m planning to go into events management so it’s good to have experience in all of the different areas and know that I’ll be able to understand all aspects of that job as well as help out!”
Giles, who was joined by his former Ritz sous chef David Smith, added: “It was a great pleasure to team up with the college and have the opportunity to work alongside such a gifted set of students.
“The reason we took a step back from The Earl of March was to re-innovate old Ritz classics which are seldom seen today outside the realms of the West End and which behold great tradition in keeping with Chaine”
At the heart of the Chaine philosophy is the encouragement of young talent in the catering and hospitality field, and this was evident at the evening with the guests treating the students to a resounding round of applause as well as praising the meal and service they received.
Kay Knowles said: “My meal was excellent. It was well delivered, well produced and beautifully cooked.
“I thought the students did very well. They were a little nervous I think, which is to be expected, but they did very well.”
This is the first partner pop-up evening of the year, with more planned in the coming months.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive Officer for the Chichester College Group, was also among those attending the event. She added: “These evenings are designed with the intention to give our students the opportunity to learn from different chefs, exposing them to different styles and techniques.
“They also give them an opportunity to establish their own links with the industry to help develop their careers. It is a valuable experience for them and they really excelled themselves on Thursday night.
“Some of the students are barely two months into their course, and the standards they achieved were outstanding. It was a fabulous evening and I hope they feel very proud of what they have achieved.”