The Staff Canteen Live College Tour at Farnborough College of Technology

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th June 2019

The Staff Canteen Live College Tour was in Farnborough today to promote hospitality as a great industry to work in.

We went to the Farnborough College of Technology with a panel of chefs representing the broad spectrum of roles in the industry to inform and encourage students to pursue a career in hospitality.

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Panelists  Matt Pickop, Tom De Keyser,

Alex Payne and Sabrina Gidda

and The Staff Canteen founder and CEO,

Mark Morris

We were joined by The Coach head chef, Tom De Keyser, Matt Pickop,  regional executive chef at Gategroup, executive chef of women-only club in London's Fitzrovia, Allbright, Sabrina Gidda and The Vineyard sous-chef,  formerly of The Latymer, Alex Payne.

Chef lecturer Sean Patterson at Farnborough College also invited culinary students from Eastleigh College to attend the event. 

Hosted in association with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Action, the tour was sponsored by Koppert Cress and Alaska Seafood.

The chefs sat on a panel hosted by The Staff Canteen founder Mark Morris, after which they answered students' questions about how to lead a successful career in hospitality. 

The chefs shared their advice with students, explained what goals they set themselves, how they deal with setbacks and how far the industry has come in the past thirty years. 

They answered questions specific to themselves - like how to accommodate for dietaries when catering for an airline - and less specific questions, such as advice on how to approach a job interview.

Students were entered into a competition draw; the winner, Reece Herd, a Level 2 Catering and Hospitality student at Eastleigh College, will be given the opportunity to spend a day in the kitchen of his choice among the chefs on the panel. 

As is the case at each of its College Tour events, the Staff Canteen will be donating £1000 to Hospitality Action on behalf of the chefs on the panel.

The lucky raffle winner, Reece, said that the panel today taught him that "whatever you do in life, it's not wrong. You can always make mistakes, but you have to learn from them. When you learn from them you can just carry  on and do whatever you want, no-one is stopping you." 

Xander Joyce, a Level 2 student in F&B said: "All the chefs that we see on TV started off like us, if not worse, because we go to college." 

Chef Tom de Keyser said he hoped the students have taken inspiration from today. "I hope they realise that it's not all clean sailing, it's hard work, but the rewards are massive and you're part of a nice family." 

For Alex Payne, it was important to convey how far the industry has come. He said: "I really hope that the students realise that the industry isn't as scary as it used to be." 

"It's a great idea for The Staff Canteen and for chefs to be in colleges and to give that insight of how the industry actually is and to show what a great industry it is to work in." 

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Matt Pickop, Tom De Keyser and Alex Payne

Meanwhile, Matt Pickop said he hoped that students understood that the industry has a place for everyone.

He said: "one thing that I want students to take away from today is that they can be who they want to be and the industry that we're in today allows them to do that."

"As we've seen today, three of us came from the same stable and we've all done different things across the world." 

Finally, Sean Patterson, chef lecturer at Farnborough College, applauded the growing trend of collaborations between the industry and colleges.

"The Staff Canteen events are helping massively," he said, adding that he hoped students around the country would start to see catering as a great career choice.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th June 2019

The Staff Canteen Live College Tour at Farnborough College of Technology