Rick Stein Academy students making the most of exciting culinary programme

Twelve students from Truro and Penwith College have been making the most of the opportunities provided to them by the Rick Stein Academy during a recent cookery demonstration and bakery tour.

The students, who were chosen for the academy during a selection process at the start of term, have been enjoying a flying start to the programme. Last week, the students were treated to a practical session down at Penwith College’s training restaurant, Senara, by the Rick Stein’s very own patisserie head chef Stuart Pate.

During the session the students learnt how to make lemon tarts, which they later enjoyed during a meal with some of their mentors from the Rick Stein restaurants. The lunch not only gave the students the chance to talk with their mentors but gave the students, who are a mix of Truro and Penwith students, the chance to get to know one another. 

During the meal, there was a presentation where a prize was given to the student who has shown the most progress in the first term of the programme. Zoe Thompson was awarded with a meal out for four at St Petroc’s Bistro in Padstow for her effort and progress so far.

After lunch and the presentation, the budding chefs were given a demonstration by Stuart, where he showed them how to make chocolate fondant, which the students got to try afterwards.

The students have also been given the opportunity to tour the Rick Stein Padstow Kitchen, giving them the chance to see how chutneys, stocks, breads and cakes are made on a large scale.

Next up for the students will be a shellfish demonstration by seafood specialist Stephane Delourme, which should be a hugely interesting experience for the budding Cornish chefs.

“College has definitely helped with preparing for a future career and with Rick Steins it’s even better. The one-to-one personal treatment you get with your mentor is great as well as the in-depth experience. It was great to see the mass production and to compare it to the small production we are used to,” said Rick Stein Academy students Libby Reynolds and Chloe Timperley.

Hayley McKinstry, Programme Team Leader for Hair, Beauty, Complementary Therapies and Cookery at the College, said: “The Rick Stein Academy programme is an invaluable addition to the students’ study programme. It allows them to access training from some of the best chefs in the county. The full-day workshops develop skills from a range of specialist areas and the mentor relationships provide support throughout their course and helps to prepare them for employment.”