Culinary Arts students at Reading College and University Centre haven taken part in their first restaurant service.

The restaurant service was part of the Spring Lunch project where all the students worked to develop their own three course menu, from which, the Spring Lunch menu was created. 

For starters, diners could choose from halloumi fries with a sweet chilli dip, grilled asparagus and a poached egg served on a toasted English muffin or a Caesar salad.

For their main, there was a choice of fish and chips, chicken breast, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in Parma ham, served with boulangère potatoes and tender stem broccoli or macaroni cheese served with garlic bread.

To finish, diners could choose from rhubarb crumble served with clotted cream, Bakewell tart served with Chantilly cream, or tiramisu. 

As part of the project, students had to write the menus, analyse them for allergens, cost each of the dishes and order the ingredients for everything.

Students invited their families to The Kitchen at the King’s Road campus for the special occasion as the menu was unveiled. 

One of the diners, Laura Barton-Johnson, from Slough, said: “Everyone was very welcoming. The service was lovely, and the food was exceptional, I really enjoyed the fish. I felt really proud of my daughter for taking part in this.” 

Cole Walcuch is studying a Professional Culinary Arts Level 1 Certificate at Reading College and University Centre. 

He said: “Taking part in the Spring Lunch project and restaurant service was great fun. There was a lot of energy to it as the restaurant service was very fast paced. 

“I’ve never worked in the hospitality industry before, but this gave me a taste of what it would be like as it had the same kind of energy and stress of a real kitchen.” 

Katie McNelly, Chef Lecturer at Activate Learning, said: “I’m really proud of my students as they planned the whole event which included creating the menu, ordered in food, sending out invites, deciding on job roles and preparing and serving the dishes. 

“As Level 1 students don’t do restaurant service till Level 2, it gave them a taste of what it would be like. It also gave them a first glimpse of what it would be like to work in hospitality, which is something which not all of them have experienced yet.

“They’ve done incredibly well, worked really hard, showed great initiative and worked well as a team.” 

Saffron Charles, Hospitality Operations Supervisor at Activate Learning, managed the front of house team at the event. She said: “The front of house team has been fantastic. They were really organised including asking for a seating plan and followed it.

“When I came in on the morning, everything was ready to go. They devised where all the guests would sit. They also asked lots of questions which showed that they were eager to learn.” 

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