Wearside school pupils got a taste of college life

Sunderland College chef Rob Stewart with Academy 360 pupils.
Sunderland College chef Rob Stewart with Academy 360 pupils.

Budding chefs served up a fine dining treat for Sunderland school pupils as reward for their first steps into the world of restaurant cuisine.

A two-course meal prepared and served by hospitality and catering students in Sunderland College’s acclaimed City Bistro was the reward for Academy 360 Year 11s, who last month staged an American Diner-themed evening for family and friends in school.

The visit to City Bistro was a great opportunity for our students

Rachel Donohue

Drawing up menus, preparing and cooking US-style food, as well as serving guests gave students an insight into the pressurised but rewarding world of restaurant work.

The college visit gave Academy 360 students the chance to taste top notch cuisine as part of a high-end dining experience, tucking into dishes including hake, scorched mackerel, chicken terrine and chocolate and fruit tart.

College curriculum leader and chef, Rob Stewart, then gave the Academy 360 students a tour of the college’s extensive catering facilities before showing them how to expertly prepare a chicken in the City Bistro kitchen.

City Bistro is a training restaurant in the college’s city campus, offering a high-end dining experience for the public, nurturing top young culinary talent under the guidance of restaurant manager Himal Arachchi and head chef Kelvin Linstead.

The 80-cover restaurant has an outstanding track record of training young chefs and front of house staff who go on to work in top restaurants.

Academy 360 enjoys close ties with Sunderland College. Many of the academy’s students choose to study there after their GCSEs with several of the visiting party to City Bistro planning to enroll on the college’s hospitality and catering course in September.

Rachel Donohue, principal at Academy 360, said: “The visit to City Bistro was a great opportunity for our students to not only taste fantastic food in top restaurant surroundings, but to see the expertise and sheer hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

“Some of our students are keen to follow a career in hospitality and catering after their exams this summer. They took so much from their visit to City Bistro, seeing how all the different skills are brought together to make a restaurant work.”