Kendal College has been the host venue for the Cumbria Life Food & Drink Awards for the last three years – an event which brings together and celebrates Cumbria’s best hospitality businesses.
The awards are one of the College’s most prestigious and challenging nights’ of the year and see up to 40 hospitality students catering for and serving a specially created and locally sourced 3-course dinner to around 200 invited guests.
This year’s event was hosted by television presenter Helen Skelton, who along with Chairman of Judges Steven Doherty, presented the evening’s final and headline award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Cumbrian Food & Drink’ to Kendal College.
In front of an audience of peers, the College was recognised for the achievements of the Lakes Hotel School, its hospitality and catering department. Judges praised the development of the department into one of the top schools of its kind and highlighted the investment in state-of-the-art teaching facilities and the success of the College’s own restaurant as major achievements.
Further acknowledgement of the development of the Castle Dairy restaurant, which is based in a prime position in Kendal’s town centre, and run by apprentices under the guidance of Head Chef, Robert Stacey was also emphasised. The Castle Dairy is a previous winner of the Best Neighbourhood Restaurant award.
Speaking after the event, Graham Wilkinson, Principal at Kendal College and former chef, said: “It’s lovely to be recognised on the day for the things the department has done over a 15-year period.”
Robert Marshall-Slater, another former chef and now Head of Culinary Arts at Kendal College, said: “Large scale events like these awards are a fantastic platform for our students to showcase their skills to potential future employers – the great and good of Cumbria’s hospitality industry – who between them have many years of experience, Michelin stars, and numerous AA rosettes.
“Over the last three years, we have proved that we can successfully deliver the full package and we’re delighted with the amazing feedback we receive from the high profile guests both on the night and afterwards as many of them regularly come to dine with us at the College’s restaurant.”
Kendal College is the only Ofsted Outstanding rated College in Cumbria and North Lancashire and currently has 70 full time hospitality students, and around 300 part-time students including apprentices.