Catering Students get a Culinary Masterclass with Rob Kennedy

Our Catering students were given a masterclass by award winning chef, Rob Kennedy, when he visited the college to run a dinner service at our Gallery Restaurant. The restaurant offers silver service dining and a gourmet menu to the public for a fraction of the cost of high street retailers.


The Catering Team before Dinner Service

Rob was on the first Level 2 Cookery NVQ the college had ever run and qualified from the two year course in 1994, and has gone on to cook for royalty, dignitaries, and has done some TV work! He decided to mark the 25th anniversary of his starting the catering course here at the college by coming back to cook.

He made sure to talk to the students about their future careers, and give them some words of advice. Before they started prepping he told them: “To be successful, always give 100%. Go in to work and enjoy every day, and remember you never stop learning.”

Prep time!

When we asked him what it was like being back in the college kitchens, he said “It’s like taking a walk down memory lane – I think you’ve got to go back to your roots. When I was a 18 years old I applied to Farnborough College of Technology and got accepted. That’s where my journey started.

“It doesn’t matter where you work with food as long as you work towards pure quality – that’s what Farnborough College of Technology offers.

Rob going through the menu and what the plates should look like before dinner service

“It’s been 25 years since I trained here. I was a young student and since then I’ve had an amazing journey of culinary competitions, working for some of the most powerful people across the globe, and a spot of TV was always a bonus!

“But now it’s up to chefs like me to invest their time and knowledge in the next generation of chefs in great colleges like this. It’s important to support local suppliers, local businesses, and local colleges.”

Catering student, Zac said: “I enjoyed the dinner service with Rob. It was great to do a different kind of service (Banqueting) and see how that all runs. I felt Rob was very patient and taught us all a lot.”

Another student, Meghan, said: “By having Rob Kennedy in to show us his style of cookery, we could see that there are different opportunities out there, and we were able to create good food which tasted nice and looked amazing. I would definitely say to anyone who has this kind of opportunity to take it, because it’s a one in a lifetime opportunity to get that knowledge and experience.”

The dinner service menu included a starter of goat’s cheese and beetroot, a fish course of roast cod, a main of braised Hampshire lamb neck, a pre-dessert of rhubarb and custard, and a dessert of chocolate fondue. All of the dishes were named with key ingredients, so that diners could be surprised.

Starter – Goat’s Cheese and Beetroot

Fish course – Roasted Cod, Chardonnay, Curry Oil, Smooth Cauliflower and Spiced Raisins

Main course – Braised Hampshire Lamb Neck, Pressed Shin, Broccoli, Roasted Peanuts and Watercress

Pre-Dessert – Rhubarb and Custard

Dessert – Chocolate 

Catering Programme Manager Gwen Grace said “It was a fantastic opportunity for our high calibre students to work with such a prestigious chef, and his “Passion to Inspire’ programme.  This opportunity to be mentored by Rob really had our students ‘buzzing’ and eager to learn.

“As you would expect the standard of food on the evening was outstanding, which certainly inspired this next generation of chefs and front of house staff.  The atmosphere in the kitchen was amazing, the whole evening will live long in the memories of he students, staff and our customers.”

All of the dishes looked amazing, and we’re sure all of the diners enjoyed their experience! We’re really looking forward to welcoming Rob back to the college soon.



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