Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant was at Printworks Campus today (11th Sep) to help inspire new students as part of a partnership with facilities management company ISS.
The top chef, who is the former head chef from Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant at Claridges in London, was at the The Food Academy as it hosted the ISS Food Excellence awards – an internal competition for employees of ISS that work within its catering and hospitality services.
ISS chefs and bakers from around the country gathered at the restaurant to compete in various categories, some of which involved a live cook-off in the Food Academy kitchens, ably assisted by two new students – Prince Teya, 24, and Becki Marston, 16.
The awards are designed to promote excellence within ISS, which provides a range of catering services to blue chip companies across the UK and has been working on training and product development with Mark Sargeant since 2012.
For the new students, who are on the Level 1 VRQ Diploma in Introduction to Professional Cookery, working with experienced chefs was an exciting way to start the academic year.
Becki said: “It was really inspiring: knowing that this will soon be us. It gave me a mindset to work hard like they do and to aim to be as good as they are.”
Prince said: “It was good to see how the chefs performed under pressure. That was a really good source of motivation for me.”
Stephanie Hamilton, Executive Director of UK Operations for ISS Food & Hospitality, said: “We’re proud to be associated with Leeds City College. The fantastic facilities, support of lecturers and enthusiasm of the students has really made the event a success. While this has been an internal competition, we were determined to involve students and hopefully inspire them to go into the industry.”
The partnership between Leeds City College and ISS is one which is set to develop further over the academic year. The company has already been holding staff training days at the college in areas such as bakery and butchery and later in the year the two partner organisations will launch the ISS Academy together – a fast track programme for students who are passionate about working in the catering and hospitality industry. There are also plans to set up a regional student cookery competition in the future.
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