This course runs over five days a week. You would spend one day in the restaurant, one day in the main kitchen, one in the pastry section and two days in a training kitchen, thus gaining experience in lots of different settings. You will also spend up to 3hrs a week in theory where you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge about the hospitality & catering industry, studying units such as; healthier foods and special diets, catering costs and menu planning. These units are then assessed and graded as a pass, merit or distinction. The course all falls within the main college day 9am-5pm.
This course gives students a realistic experience of working in a busy hospitality environment and with high end clients. For example, in the morning you could be serving breakfast to the Lake District Hotel Association, followed by lunch in the college restaurant and then setting up a buffet and canapes at the Town Hall for the international Mountain Festival. The department caters for many prestigious community events throughout the year, such dinners for the Mayor and for the Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards.
Students are given the opportunity to participate in many enrichment events over the year. Students will visit local hotels to gain an insight into how these businesses operate and will be given the opportunity to travel abroad e.g. last year students visited Berlin and this year they are heading to Amsterdam. As well as trips and visits, students will take part in internal, local and national competitions.
The Hospitality department also recruits a Culinary Team who are employed by the college to support additional corporate events, with the money raised going into an end of year foreign experience. Students in previous years have visited top restaurants and hotels in Chicago, Dubai, Toronto, China, Japan and this year will be flying to Italy.
The department runs parents evenings during the year and an End of Year Prize Giving Ceremony. The department also invites five guest chefs into college to give students specific skill demonstrations.
You will develop your skills as a chef and as a front of house waitress/ waiter. You will gain experience in the following areas:
- Setting up events and laying out tables
- Costing ingredients
- Menu planning
- Taking orders
- Bar service
- Serving customers in the restaurant
You will develop your culinary skills, working with meat, fish pastry, sauces, bakery, and modern plated desserts.
All of our learners will be given support with their English and Maths skills where relevant to their main programme. Those students who have not yet achieved a Grade 1-9 at GCSE in these subjects will continue to work towards these important qualifications at a level suited to them.
Practical and written assessments take place throughout the year. There is also an end of year practical exam which makes up 45% of the students overall mark.
All candidates will be interviewed for this course by the subject specialist. You should have four GCSEs at Grade 3 or above (including English and Maths), a Level 1 Diploma at Merit or Distinction or equivalent plus a satisfactory tutor reference. You will also need to demonstrate your practical skills at a summer welcome day.
Mature students may be accepted on the basis of their industrial experience.
After Your Course
All students are guaranteed a job at the end of their course. Our students have gone onto work as chefs, front of house staff, and managers in a wide range of hotels and restaurants, including Michelin starred L'Enclume in Cartmel and Lakeside at Newby Bridge. We also have previous students working in establishments from France to New Zealand and everywhere in-between!