From education to employment

Havant & South Downs College gets ‘The Fat Duck experience’

Hospitality and Catering students at Havant & South Downs College had the chance to recreate ‘The Fat Duck experience’ as they welcomed head chef Ed Cooke into the restaurant on 20 March.

Ed Cooke started his career at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow before joining The Fat Duck restaurant nine years ago. The Fat Duck is a three Michelin star restaurant situated in Bray.

During Ed’s time at The Fat Duck, he has been involved in many projects, including the relocation to Australia. The Fat Duck experience is a journey based on Heston Blumenthal’s favourite nostalgic moments, full of adventure, curiosity, discovery and playfulness.

On Wednesday, Ed brought the experience to Havant & South Downs College, where he recreated the menu with the help of catering students. The dinner included a beetroot starter, a nostalgic ‘sound of the sea’ dish, seasonal meat and a black forest gateau.

Speaking about his visit to the HSDC restaurant, Ed 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.

“We’re all very excited and I’m looking forward to explaining to the students about the dishes and where they have come from and why they’re so important to the restaurant and the industry as a whole.”

Catering lecturer Iain Baillie said: “The Fat Duck is a restaurant in the top five of the world, so this was a huge experience for our students.

“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.”

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