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BCoT restaurant re-opens after £110,00 revamp
Buy this photo » Level 3 food and beverage supervision service management students Josh Carpenter and Andrew Cameron with borough mayor Cllr Martin Biermann and BCoT principal Anthony Bravo
A COLLEGE restaurant has re-opened after a £110,000 revamp to update the kitchens and front of house.
Students at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT ) entertained invited guests at the re-launch of The Restaurant at BCoT last Thursday, serving up a selection of canapés. The kitchen is fully equipped with the latest technology used in top restaurants, including a water bath which slow cooks food for 48 hours.
Ian Pitt, course co-ordinator, said many BCoT students go on to work with top chefs, such as Marco Pierre White, or in Michelin star restaurants. He hopes the newly-refurbished restaurant will raise the profile of the students’ skills and attract a wider range of diners. The students have been experimenting in the new kitchens, creating dishes such as prawn mousse and lettuce ice cream. Mr Pitt said: “It’s a modern, chic restaurant, and for a college, we are quite fortunate. What they do here is a combination of skill, art and science.”
The design of the new restaurant was all done by staff and students, and work was carried out over the summer. Anthony Bravo , principal of the college, in Worting Road, told guests at the opening event: “What we have moved to is, I would say, world class. It’s another example of what BCoT is about. It’s about making a difference and giving people the skills to go on and be world class.”
Andrew Cameron, 18, from Baughurst, who is on a level three front-of-house course, said of the new facilities: “It means that it looks like a proper restaurant now. The previous Robert Newman Restaurant was 30 years old and felt like a school canteen.”
Claire Sutton, 45, from Falkland Road, Popley, Basingstoke, is in her third year at BCoT in the kitchen. The mother-of-seven has previously worked in bars and restaurants but wanted to gain qualifications to progress in her career. She said: “It’s fantastic now. It’s a big improvement to what was here before. It helps us practically and is easier to move around in the kitchen. We have more advanced technologies, which will prepare us for when we get jobs. “
Jo Dotor, head of business, leisure and hospitality, thanked the governors for agreeing to allocate funds for the revamp. She added: “These changes are very exciting for the students moving forward into the future. Without them, the soul of BCoT wouldn’t continue to beat.”
Jo recently took catering students on a trip to Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant Claridges in London to give them a taste of how top-class dining is done. The students never expected to actually meet the celebrity chef, and were surprised when he turned up during their visit. Jo said: “I wanted them to get a feel for the quality environment and service there. We had lunch and then Gordon Ramsey arrived. He was amazing. He spoke to every student.”