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Catering for the Royals

This week Catering students from Canterbury College were given the opportunity to show off their skills at a national awards ceremony held at The Guildhall in Westminster.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes celebrate excellence, innovation and public benefit in work carried out by UK colleges and universities. The Prizes are the highest national Honour awarded in UK further and higher education and are granted by The Queen every two years.

Past winners of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes have been recognised for work in a wide range of disciplines – science, engineering, arts and the creative industries, education, the humanities, the environment and medicine. Prize-winning work has involved vocational training, research and development, resourcing and new facilities, and new approaches to teaching and learning. Direct benefits have been delivered at local, regional, national and international level.

During this year’s event students from Canterbury, Mid-Kent, Westminster and Waltham Colleges came together to provide frontline service to the patrons, giving them all a chance to collaborate and put their skills to the test in a high-pressure environment.

Speaking with Steph and Arron from our Level 2 Catering course, who were part of the multi-college team at the central London ceremony, they said that they revelled in the opportunity to impress the guests. Arron was a Server on the day and tended to the likes of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford and said that is was a “fantastic experience”, while Steph worked in the kitchen, making a menu that included a variety of dishes, from canapes and lamb cutlets, to a macaron, chocolate fondue and cheesecake medley.

“I’ve never worked in such a big kitchen,” said Steph, “But as soon as it was time to start cooking, we got our heads down and everything seemed to go really smoothly. Working with the other colleges was a good chance to cooperate and meet new people.

“I love the pressure of the kitchen, so my favourite moment of the whole experience was when the service staff came in to start taking food out – it was busy and the time flew, I really enjoyed it!”

Anthony Jacques, the Catering Advisor for the entire event was thrilled with our students' attitudes and proactive, skillful service on the night stating that, "they were polite and willing, and demonstrated what a great contribution they will make to the catering industry." They did so well that they have been invited back for the next event!

Find out more about the opportunities that college can offer you at our next Open Day on Thursday 23 April.