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French culinary adventure ‘eye-opener’ for West Country students

Published: January 26, 2017

Cornwall College Saltash

An inspiring trip to France has given a group of students from Cornwall College Saltash invaluable insights into cookery and hospitality in Europe.

The two week trip, in conjunction with Erasmus +, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, gave Professional Cookery students the experience of working in French kitchens and restaurants alongside their European counterparts.

Professional Cookery student, Chloe Spear, said it was “such an eye opener, I’ve made so many contacts with so many people, including Michelin-star chefs”.

In addition to spending time in colleges and at a culinary school, the students went on trips to an oyster farm, a cider farm, a fish market and a host of famous French bakeries.

They also undertook a prestigious bread masterclass with a master baker, where they learned the trade secrets of creating perfect artisan French bread.

The students worked at a food festival held at a castle, which provided a fantastic opportunity to work with a long list of Michelin-starred chefs from Paris and the head chef from Rick Steins’ Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

Professional Cookery lecturer, Lesley Retallack, said “this was an amazing opportunity and resulted in us being invited for dinner at one of the chef’s restaurants in Brest”.

“Our students also had the offer of work experience in one of the Paris Restaurants and Rick Steins. This in turn put all their knowledge learnt at college into practice and gave them such a confidence boost in themselves and their growing ability,” she continued.

“Two of our students had never been abroad before and the others had never been away without family. It was a great pleasure to be able to facilitate such an all-round learning experience for them. We travelled many miles by car over the two weeks, shopping in supermarkets, eating in restaurants and staying in different accommodation. The students compared the cultural differences to those in other cultures and improved their language skills.”

For more information about the range of Professional Cookery courses available across The Cornwall College Group, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or contact the College on 0330 123 2523.


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