Top chef’s praise for college catering students

Celeb chef Richard with Nelson & Colne College catering students

Celeb chef Richard with Nelson & Colne College catering students

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A Pre-Event Dinner hosted by Nelson and Colne College to launch the following day’s Nelson Food and Drink Festival has been highly praised, not least by the festival’s guest chef Richard Fox.

As the festival’s gold sponsor, Nelson and Colne College hosted the launch dinner at its acclaimed in-house Farringtons Restaurant and Bistro, with dishes planned and prepared by the college’s catering tutors and students.

The catering industry relies upon inspiring young people to become first class cooks and Nelson and Colne College is definitely doing that

Richard Fox

Speaking afterwards, Richard Fox commented: “The pre-festival dinner has been amazing. There are critically acclaimed restaurants out there not doing food like this, and because of the vibe created you forget you are even in a college.

“I’ve had the chance to speak to Nelson and Colne College’s chef, Mark Taft, and he is really motivated - the catering industry relies upon inspiring young people to become first class cooks and Nelson and Colne College is definitely doing that.”

The menu for Friday evening’s three course dinner included choices such as treacle cured salmon with a chargrilled spring onion salad and ginger and lemongrass puree, or haunch of venison with textures of beetroot, salt baked celeriac and girelle, and for dessert, a dark chocolate delice with salt milk ice cream.

Guests agreed the standard of cooking and presentation was outstanding and a credit to the college team. As part of the event Richard Fox matched each course to a suitable craft beer. A renowned advocate of quality beers, he is author of “The Food and Beer Cook Book” and co-presented ITV series “Men Brewing Badly” with actor Neil Morrissey.

Debbie Howard, from the college’s Catering Hospitality and Events department, said: “We are delighted to be able to give our students ‘real’ experiences like this to help prepare them for life in the catering industry. Friday’s dinner was extremely successful and we were honoured to be able to launch the Nelson Food and Drink Festival in style.”

Debbie added: “Thanks so much to Richard - ‘The Beer Chef’ - for sharing his expertise with our guests and students and we hope to welcome him back to the college in the near future.”