On Wednesday 22nd April, students from the Centre of Excellence in Catering and Hospitality at Riverside College took part in workshops by leading professionals from the rapidly growing British TV and Film industry.
The workshops were organised by Christine Pyke from Knowledge Bites and funded by Creative England. Graham and Kathryn Waters from catering company ‘Film Cuisine’, and famous Chef and Proprietor of Harthill Cookery School, Brian Mellor, helped the students understand how they could use their skills to pursue a career in this growing industry.
The students finished off a hugely successful day by showcasing their own skills, catering and hosting an event for local VIP guests in Scholars, the College’s training restaurant.
Kathryn and Graham Waters from Film Cuisine have 25 years’ experience as location caterers to the Film and TV Industry, they said, “It was a delight and pleasure to work with the Catering and Hospitality students at Riverside College. They were confident and committed, and approached the three live briefs we gave them within the morning’s exercises with enthusiasm and maturity. These were not easy tasks and included thinking through menu planning for a complex Hollyoaks shoot, a 17 week location drama, Last Tango in Halifax and a Hi-end football commercial with a top footballer.
“The students carried out these tasks with enthusiasm and came up with some excellent menus. It was also great to be able to give “The Bites” award to the team who showed the most promise.
As a company we are actively looking to offer work placements over the summer and paid work later in the year, and hope to continue working with Riverside’s Catering and Hospitality team to source future location catering staff from the College.”
After a series of creative workshops, the team’s menus were judged by Graham, Kathryn and Chef Brian Mellor. The winners of ‘The Bites’ Award were Belle Bridge, Abigail Anderson, Callum Clark and Sean Cliff, who received a trophy.
Brian Mellor, famous chef and Proprietor of Harthill Cookery School said, “As a cookery school owner and a busy chef involved in events and demonstrations as well as competitions for young chefs, I know what the industry is looking for in catering and hospitality and I was incredibly impressed with the level of knowledge the students had about food design, planning and preparation. The exercise I gave them was a real scenario to design a finger buffet for 20 visiting Canadian Film and TV Producers and to give the food a regional flavour to sell the North West region as a possible film location. The students came up with some excellent, imaginative ideas which they presented back to the whole group.
“I began my own career at Riverside College where I trained to be a Chef, so it was with personal pride for me to go back to the College and see the next generation of students who are about to move into Catering and Hospitality. The skills shown gave me confidence that both these industries are in safe hands.”
Christine Pyke from Christine Pyke Media, who organised the day said, “These events are designed to open up opportunities for students to consider a job in a field related to the Film and TV industries. For Catering and Hospitality students this can represent a real departure from the areas they have been considering, namely hotel and restaurant work.
“The 30 students who took part in the event at Riverside College demonstrated a real and genuine interest in location catering. They tackled quite complex live briefs, which were given by industry experts, with enthusiasm and maturity. A positive outcome for me is for students to go away from a Knowledge Bite event inspired; but I am thrilled students from Riverside College are being given the prospect of work placements and paid work courtesy of location caterers Film Cuisine, who were impressed with the calibre of the student cohort.”
Stephen Parkinson, Head of the Centre of Excellence in Catering and Hospitality at Riverside College said, “The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for the students from the Centre of Excellence in Catering and Hospitality to learn about what it takes to cater for the TV and Film industry. They all worked really well in teams to complete the tasks which included menu planning, budgeting and timekeeping, all things which are very important for anyone who wants to be successful in this industry. These tasks will also help the students with their upcoming modules for the level 3 in professional cookery.
“The students worked very well together to host the VIP event in the evening. The whole day was a great success and I am proud of how enthusiast and creative the students were. I know they have been inspired by the whole day.”
Christine will be returning to the College later in the term to help the students to plan their CV’s with applying for jobs within the TV and Film industry in mind.