STUDENTS from New College Lanarkshire got a taste of Holyrood hospitality as they took over the Members' Restaurant of the Scottish Parliament for one night only - January 27, 2015.
Professional cookery students from the Cumbernauld Campus cooked up a storm with their haute cuisine creations for MSPs.
The Level 1 and Level 2 students served up a three-course menu at the Holyrood restaurant that regularly plays host to the country's top politicians and their guests.
The 10 students were split into a kitchen team of six and a service team of four.
The dinner included a starter of pressed terrine of game with pear chutney, pickled winter vegetables and toasted sourdough; a main of lamb 'bun', butternut squash puree and a redcurrant jus; while the dessert was a bitter chocolate tart with an orange and cardamom reduction.
Andrew Anthony, 34, from Abronhill in Cumbernauld, is a Level 1 student who only began cooking in August.
He said: “We got a tour first and met a few MSPs and a few ministers.
“I was a bit nervous when we started but once we got used to the kitchen it was great. The recipe for the chocolate tart was quite a difficult one, but we did it well.
“After we cooked, we all went through to the restaurant and everyone gave us a round of applause.”
Christine Welsh, 28, from Airdrie, is also a Level 1 student who was part of the pastry team.
She said: “It was a really good experience to cook in a different kitchen.
“Everyone said that it was a lovely meal and that they really enjoyed themselves. It was a good overall experience.
“If the chance came up again, I would definitely do it.”
The students and their lecturers met with Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment.
She praised the students' efforts, saying: “It has been a real pleasure to meet the professional cookery students working at the Members' Restaurant at the Parliament for the day.
"Their skill and passion for what they do was evident, both in the kitchen and in front of house, and I am sure that all the MSPs and guests dining there were impressed by the menu, the service and professionalism of all of the New College Lanarkshire chefs and service staff.”
The event was part of a project to give college hospitality students experience of working in a prestigious, fine dining environment.
In the lead-up to the event, elements from the menu were incorporated into the regular dishes served at Taste, the Cumbernauld Campus's in-house training restaurant.
Lecturer Paul Clark said: "Having the opportunity to cook and serve at the Scottish Parliament was an event that was eagerly anticipated by both learners and staff within the hospitality department at our Cumbernauld Campus.
"The students really pushed themselves hard to deliver an incredible dining experience in an unfamiliar environment.
"I know that our students have learned a number of invaluable lessons from this event and it will fill them with confidence going forward in the industry."
Taste is open to the public for lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and for dinner service on Thursday evenings. It is highly regarded for the quality of its food and service.
Applications are now being invited for hospitality courses starting in August, which are offered at our Cumbernauld and Motherwell campuses.
The Cumbernauld Campus offers full-time courses in City & Guilds Professional Cookery Diploma at Level 1 and Level 2, plus an HNC in Professional Cookery.
The Motherwell Campus offers a wide range of courses from an entry-level qualification in Hospitality & Professional Cookery Bronze to a BA in Hospitality Business Management.
To apply visit www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk or call 0300 555 8080.
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