Michelin-starred chef gives students recipe for success

Catering students at Warrington Collegiate have discovered the recipe for success, thanks to an amazing work placement opportunity with Michelin-starred chef, Aiden Byrne.

Ben Grimes, Russ Wood and Ray Cassell Ben Grimes, Russ Wood and Ray Cassell

Ben Grimes has been spending the last few weeks working at the acclaimed chef’s Church Green restaurant in Lymm, while fellow Hospitality & Catering students Ray Cassell and Russ Wood have been completing their placements at Manchester House.

All three students are studying the Level 3 Advanced Professional Cookery Diploma at the Winwick Road campus and described the work placement as an “incredible opportunity”.

Ben, a former St Gregory’s High School pupil, said: “It has been really good so far. I’ve been producing all kinds of different dishes, which are actually being served in the restaurant. It’s a great opportunity.”

Ray said: “This is an incredible opportunity that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the college. We’re being trusted to produce high standard food and that’s because of what we’ve learned here at the collegiate.”

Working at Manchester House has seen Russell and Ray face the added pressure of working directly for Aiden himself.

Ben, Russ and Ray have already experienced working in a busy kitchen environment, thanks to Warrington Collegiate’s onsite training restaurant, Buckley’s.

There they are taught by chef lecturer Scott Surtees who, like Aiden Byrne, has Michelin stars to his name.

Russ said: “Aiden has been giving us feedback and tips on how to improve our work. It’s fantastic because we already have Michelin-starred chefs and industry experts teaching us our trade at college, and now we’ve been able to put this into practice in front of Aiden.”

The incredible work placement was made possible thanks to the college’s industry links – which mean 100% of the College’s students get first-hand industry experience.

Dominica Randolfi, work placement co-ordinator said: “It has been a real asset that we have been fortunate enough to secure the support and commitment from Aiden Byrne and his team.

I always strive to obtain quality work placements and the links we have developed with Aiden raises the bar on quality. The success and feedback from our learners is testament to that and I know that all of our learners were excited to learn of his involvement.

Aiden has also agreed to be the main judge and face of the College’s Culinary Skills Contest, which takes place in May. This is an exciting year ahead for our catering students.”

To find out more about the amazing opportunities available at Warrington Collegiate, visit our School Leaver’s Open Evening on Thursday 3rd November, 5-8pm. Register online now at warrington.ac.uk to avoid the queues on the night.


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