Staff at the Greenway Farm restaurant, in Wembdon, were able to put their feet up for a day week when students on the Level 1 progression to culinary foundation larning course at Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) prepared and served over 40 meals to genuine paying customers.
Hands-on work experience is a vital part of the training, helping the students to increase confidence, work as a team and interact with the public, as well as embedding the taught cookery and hospitality skills that help them to become work-ready and employable.
Prior to the day, the students devised a three-course, fixed price menu with four choices for each course. They did all the shopping, preparation and serving, plus – equally importantly – the clearing up, closely supported and supervised by their course tutors as well as Martin Felstead, proprietor of Greenway Farm.
Martin said: “These events are always hugely popular with our customers and we were absolutely delighted that this one was fully booked within 24 hours of being advertised.
“It is quite daunting to be faced with a totally full restaurant, but the students rose to the occasion and produced a superb lunch that was very much enjoyed by all.
“We must also commend the efforts of the BTC staff, whom we witnessed going above and beyond, time and again, to bring out the very best in the students in their charge. We look forward to hosting another event like this in the near future.”
Jason Gunningham, Assistant Principal for Land-based, Sport and Foundation Studies at BTC, praised both students and staff: “Our primary role as a college is to prepare young people of all ages and abilities for the modern world of work.
“We cannot stress highly enough the importance of real-life experience like this, where students are able to take their learning outside of the classroom, deal with genuine customers in a live hospitality setting and receive recognition and praise for their efforts. Huge thanks are due to my staff for making this happen and of course to Greenway Farm for opening up their restaurant to us.”
Whilst the students’ confidence was no doubt boosted even further by a number of gratuities from customers, in an extraordinarily generous and community-minded gesture students and staff combined to donate an astonishing £600 to Cancer Research UK.
More information about foundation learning provision at BTC is available online at www.btc.ac.uk or telephone the college on 01278 441234.