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Colourful summer fayre on graduation menu

The silverware is being polished and things are heating up in the kitchens at West Nottinghamshire College’s Refined fine dining restaurant ready for another student graduation dinner.

Level 3 Professional Cookery students Blaqe Vanderberg, Ronan Smith, Sineh McFarlane and Chanelle Vernon with their hospitality colleagues Kelsa Thirlaway, Ella Williams and Danielle Johnson will be hosting their end-of-year event on Thursday 14 June, which will see family, friends and customers enjoy the fruits of their labour.

The student chefs will be working on their skills to produce a four-course menu for up to 50 diners, creating a “colourful variety” of food, using seasonal fruit and vegetables in their dishes.

Meanwhile, their Level 3 Hospitality, Supervision and Leadership colleagues will be ensuring the tables are professionally set, guests are welcomed with a range of cocktails which include strawberry dash, lemon mojito, raspberry lemonade slushy mocktail and an orange and cranberry spritzer mocktail.

Starters include mackerel with parma ham, chicory, tomato concasse with a cucumber and lemon dressing, or pork belly with fondant potato; apple puree with sage, apple jus and spinach or a courgette and blue cheese soup.

Main courses range from chorizo crumb cod with vegetables, a supreme of chicken with asparagus, broccoli, barley and cream sauce or a seasonal risotto for vegetarian diners.

Chef Blaqe Vanderberg is particularly proud of the ox cheek choice which he has practiced well. He said:

“I’ve cooked this dish a lot this year and even though it’s a second-class cut of meat, cooked properly it tastes amazing.”

Blaqe, who works at The School House restaurant in South Normanton, added:

“I’d suggest to anybody who’s never tried this meat, to give it a go.”

Lined up for pre-dessert will be a traditional Eton mess, followed by a choice of either caramel and whisky delice or iced berry soufflé with a strawberry compote.

Whilst completing their studies on the Level 3 diplomas, the learners are busy working part-time jobs too. Blaqe is busy at the restaurant in his home town, saying he’d eventually like to “work in a high-end restaurant and feel proud of the dishes he serves up.”

Ronan will continue working as chef at the Fox and Crown in Sutton-in-Ashfield, which is where Ella is also working part-time.

Chanelle will continue her kitchen work at the Ravensdale Hotel, Mansfield, while Sineh is busy with two jobs at Clipstone Miners’ Welfare and nearby Rumbles Café. Sineh would love to pursue a career as a chef on a cruise ship.

Kelsa is busy juggling two jobs and utilising many skills as a waitress and bar worker as well as customer services assistant at the Hop Pole Hotel in her home town of Ollerton.

Danielle is looking forward to starting a new job in July joining the front of house team at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nottingham, having enjoyed work experience there earlier this year.


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