COLLEGE students got the chance to recreate the menu of a top UK restaurant owned by celebrity cook Heston Bluementhal.
The opportunity came as the Fat Duck’s head chef, Ed Cooke, visited Havant and South Downs College on Wednesday.
Based in Bray, Berkshire, the venue is famed for its playfulness and has earned three Michelin stars.
With Mr Cooke’s guidance, learners at the college attempted to replicate dishes from its menu – including a beetroot starter, seasonal meat and a black forest gateau.
The visit was brought to fruition on the orders of Mr Blumenthal himself – thanks to the previous experience of college catering lecturer Iain Baillie.
Mr Cooke said: ‘Iain worked with The Fat Duck in years past with Heston and he wanted to rekindle that connection with the college.
‘We are always up for doing projects that benefit the industry as well as individual’s experiences.
‘It is good for the team at The Fat Duck to go out and experience a different environment working with other people and to be put under that pressure to deliver the same standard outside of The Fat Duck is a challenge.
‘From my point of view, this benefits students because it widens their view of what is out there in the industry. Going into employment that is very important, its not always glitz and glamour.’
Mr Cooke began his career at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall, before joining the Fat Duck nine years ago.
The restaurant was ranked the 10th best in the UK in Waitrose’s latest Good Food Guide.
Mr Baillie said: ‘Ed was really complimentary of the college, our facilities and in particular the restaurant.
‘This is the first time Ed has done a full ‘Fat Duck set up’ away from The Fat Duck.
‘We were all so pleased with how the evening turned out and he said how wonderful our students were to work with.’
Mr Blumenthal has previously visited the college himself.