Paul Ainsworth, Rick Stein Group, Michael Caines Collection, St Austell Brewery, Watergate Bay Hotel, Healeys and Flying Fish Seafoods were just some of the twenty employers serving up the mouth-watering sessions.
The annual ‘Employer Week’ was organised by tutors and the College’s Hospitality Table Cornwall project. The week was designed to inspire students while increasing awareness of the varied careers in the sector and raising aspirations as they rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the industry.
BBC Spotlight’s coverage of Employer Week
One of the highlights of the week was a visit from Paul Ainsworth and his Group Executive Chef John Walton, who were joined by Flying Fish Seafoods to deliver an entire day of fish masterclasses, using some of the best produce Cornwall has to offer.
Emily, Hospitality and Catering Student at Penwith College said: “I’ve learnt how simple a dish can be and how a few simple ingredients can make a Michelin Star dish.
“You see the chefs on tele but it’s different when they come and cook for you, they make a real effort to make you feel like you can do what they have done.”
Shay who also studies Hospitality and Catering at Penwith College added: “I want to own my own Michelin Star restaurant one day, so picking up tips from someone like Paul Ainsworth is incredible.”
Coverage of the visit from Paul Ainsworth, John Walton and Flying Fish Seafoods
Continuing the theme of fine Cornish fish, Nick Evans, Head Chef Lecturer at Rick Stein’s Cookery School took over the kitchen for his Mussel, Scallop and Mackerel Masterclass. Chef Debbie Thorpe offered a unique insight into foraging, freshly picking and preparing all of her ingredients for her demonstration, the Headland Hotel and Spa hosted an Afternoon Tea Masterclass and Cornish Coffee helped students get hands on with barista skills.
Mark Lewin, Training and Development Consultant at the College commented: “A huge thank you to the chefs and employers for offering students an incredible opportunity to hone their skills. The experiences will stay with them throughout their training and well beyond as they embark on careers in the sector.
“The Week has been hugely inspiring for our students, educating them on the quality careers available in the sector. Our partnership work with all our employers makes these opportunities possible along with the continued development of our training to ensure we are supplying the skills needed in the workplace and allows us to feel confident the future of the sector is in safe hands.”
Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, the record level of employers recruiting hospitality Apprentices with the College this year and the volume of full-time learners involved in the week suggests the appetite for quality careers and employment in one of Cornwall’s biggest sectors remains strong.
Local company Flying Fish Seafoods supply the Ainsworth Collection and supplied the fresh fish for the masterclasses, Owner and Director John Godden commented: “We don’t just think about today, we have to plan for the future. With increasing staff shortages, in all sectors of the business, we must think creatively about investment in the next generation of owners, managers and leaders.”
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