A top team of six professional chefs helped to turn a six-course gourmet dinner at Bath College into a surprise retirement party.
All six chefs started their careers at Bath College and have gone on to excel in the hospitality and catering industry.
The event, supported by ex-student and Michelin-starred chef Andre Garrett, was held in honour of hospitality and catering lecturer Kean Maslen who has worked at the college for 31 years.
Kean, known as Maz, knew about the event and was ready to help in the kitchen when he was asked to sit down and eat instead
Andre, executive head chef at Cliveden House, gave up his time to support the dinner alongside Jon Howe, this year’s winner of AA Restaurant of the Year for England.
The team preparing the dinner included Garry Rosser, from the Scallop Shell, Stuart Ash, from Woods Restaurant, Claire Wilkins, from The Olive Tree, and Micail Swindells.
Micail, who has worked for Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck and TV MasterChef judge John Torode, now works as head chef on a private yacht.
Kean’s family and friends booked tickets for the dinner, which came as a complete surprise to Kean, who is retiring next month.
He said: “Being able to teach some truly amazing, ambitious and motivated students has blessed me with a mountain of pride and job satisfaction.
“I have been totally overwhelmed by the commitment the students, staff and professional chefs, put into making the dinner such a success.
“This has been a true showcase for the catering industry.”
Hospitality and catering students at Bath College worked alongside the six chefs to create and serve an impressive menu for 70 guests.
For the main course, they served hay smoked haunch of fallow deer, with salt baked beetroot, parsnip, braised cabbage and a sauce grand veneur (huntsman’s sauce).
Staff chose to fundraise for the Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, which provides support for Kean’s daughter, and collected over £700.
Guests also listened to a good luck video from Sam Moody, who has worked with Bath College on a number of occasions and recently left The Bath Priory to work as head chef at Ballyfin in Ireland.
Bridget Halford, Head of Hospitality and Catering, said: “It was fantastic to see our students working alongside these professionals who have gone on to do exceptional things in the industry.
“They rose to the challenge and we’re very proud of them. I’d like to say a big thank you to the team for their support. We had the chefs in the day before and I thought ‘they will never keep it quiet’, but it was a complete surprise.
“Maz sees the best in all the students. He puts everyone’s happiness first and will do anything for anybody. Sam Moody often called him ‘the legend’ and he’s right about that.
“He’s always the first person to offer his help. If you’ve got an event he will say ‘yes ok, I can help with that’. He’s going to be missed by students and staff.”