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Work experience of a lifetime for Cambridge Regional College student chef

CRC student chef Sam Gooby with Michelin-starred Raymond Blanc

A young trainee chef had the work experience of a lifetime when he volunteered to work at Royal Ascot – and found himself cooking alongside leading chef Raymond Blanc.

Sam Gooby, 18, was with 10 other students from Cambridge Regional College when he was picked to cook for the racegoers’ top restaurant, the Panoramic, overseen by the two Michelin-starred chef.

The internationally-renowned owner and chef of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons was cooking for guests paying up to £2,500 a head for a menu which included Royal Estate lamb loin, pressed shoulder with bulgar wheat and spring peas, and afternoon tea of scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Sam said it had been a fantastic day.

“It was an amazing experience to work alongside Raymond Blanc. I took the opportunity to speak to him when I could and he said good luck in all your studies,” he said.

The great chef also signed a menu card for Sam, with a personal message: “To Sam – Enjoy your cooking.”

The students were on a day’s work experience visit to the event, one of the highlights of the social calendar, with the other 10 students working in other eateries on the racecourse.

CRC Catering lecturer Graham Taylor, who organised the visit, said: “As a college we get fantastic support from local and national chefs and our students are very lucky to work with such top chefs. Cooking alongside Raymond Blanc, the hero of every young chef, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Sam and he appreciated every minute of it.”

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