Rugby College opened the doors to its new on-site commercial restaurant to the public for the first time as part of Colleges Week celebrations.
Catering students showed off their culinary skills and cooked a range of dishes for visitors to the college, which is part of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group), to enjoy.
‘Courses’ restaurant will provide hands-on industry experience to prepare students for working in the hospitality industry – and will be officially opening to the public to pop in for their lunch in the New Year.
Around 40 people attended the free-of-charge open lunch at Rugby College and were able to see first-hand the work the college is doing to help plug the skills gap in the hospitality and catering industry.
Workers from nearby businesses, staff at the college and families of the students were all among the customers on the day.
Food ranged from pork croquettes, fish goujons and BBQ pulled pork, to brownies, apple crumble tart and Eton mess.
Produce from across the college group’s sites was used to create the dishes. This included chillies, basil, rocket and other herbs which had been grown in the vertical farming facility at Pershore College.
Award-winning Pershore Press fruit juice, which is also produced on-site at Pershore College, was also served.
Floristry students from Moreton Morrell College were also involved on the day and created flower arrangements to decorate tables for diners. Some of the arrangements were created by under-19 students – giving them their first experience of creating arrangements for an event.
The event was part of the Association of Colleges’ Colleges Week 2021, which ran from 18-22 October. The week is part of the Love Our Colleges Campaign and provides a platform to shout about everything that FE colleges do.
Rita Young, Head of Catering at Rugby College, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity to welcome people into the college and showcase how we are developing the next generation of hospitality professionals.
“It was also a platform introduce those who may not have sampled it before to the wide range of produce that we grow and make across the college group.
“For some of the students, this was their first experience of working in a real-world environment and that workplace experience is something that the ‘Courses’ restaurant will provide when it opens fully to the public in the New Year.
“Colleges Week is a great chance to shout about everything great that we do at WCG and the ‘Courses’ restaurant is a perfect example of how our provision is supporting the economy and responding to local needs.”
For more information on Food, Drink and Catering courses and apprenticeships at Rugby College visit www.wcg.ac.uk/rugby
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