Michelin-starred TV chef Nigel Haworth ignites partnership with dining masterclass

February 17th, 2014

Michelin-starred TV chef Nigel Haworth has ignited his new partnership with Hugh Baird College after hosting an exclusive dining event at our campus.

The Lancashire-based chef, famous for reaching BBC2’s Great British Menu final, teamed up with apprentices and students from our L20 Hotel School to lay on a special culinary masterclass for 50 guests – including leading figures from Liverpool’s Hoteliers Association.

The “Partnership Launch” dinner saw a four-course extravaganza served up in the college’s recently refurbished L20 Hotel School restaurant in Balliol Road.

It marks the Michelin star chef’s first official visit to our college after recently signing a partnership to deliver student training sessions, mentoring and added value apprenticeship opportunities.

Hugh Baird principal and chief executive Yana Williams said the event demonstrated the college’s ambition to ramp up training standards for the UK’s hospitality sector.

“It was terrific to host a sparkling night of entertainment with Nigel, who is one of the UK’s most renowned chefs,” said Yana. “We were able to showcase our facilities and the hard work which is going on behind the scenes at the L20 Hotel School. We feel privileged to be aligning ourselves with chefs of Nigel’s acclaim and calibre. This partnership further signals the college’s commitment to Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s growth strategy, which includes the visitor economy. We are firmly focussed on providing local people with the facilities and training to capitalise on the opportunities that lie within this sector.”

Nigel, who also appeared on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and the Market Kitchen, has been involved in running the Northcote Group and Ribble Valley Inns since 1989.

In September 2013, he joined forces with Hugh Baird College to launch the L20 Northcote Apprenticeship. It is designed to provide “on the job” training with an opportunity for students who excel to gain employment in Michelin-starred restaurants.

It further delivers extensive knowledge-based training on subjects including the origins of ingredients and the mechanics of running profitable kitchens.

Nigel said the Partnership Launch event highlighted the unique opportunity the initiative is providing to develop talent in the North West region.

“It was an absolute pleasure to join staff, students and apprentices at the L20 Hotel School to help deliver a memorable event,” said Nigel. It was an inspiration to see people of all levels come together to share their passion and knowledge for the hospitality industry. The L20 Northcote apprenticeship is an ambitious project aiming to raise the bar and set new standards in hospitality training. A core objective is to structure training to meet job requirements rather than just the qualification standard. This latest event is just one example of the exciting opportunities on offer.”

L20 Hotel School director Mike Mounfield said apprenticeships levels within the department had quadrupled in the last three months.

“The L20 Hotel school is proving hugely popular,” said Mike. “Our apprenticeships essentially provide added value. We are teaching for a vocation not a qualification. In addition, our students are also offered glittering opportunities to gain intense work experience in top establishments. To provide an indication of the connections we can create, recent successes include L20 Hotel School apprentice Will Wilson being invited on an overseas exchange programme in Denmark, working alongside acclaimed chef Paul Cunningham. Furthermore, L20 Northcote level 1 apprentice Jamie Murphy has been invited to work alongside double Michelin star chef Gary Jones from the Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Oxford. There is a real depth of talent on our doorstep and we are keen to encourage people who are passionate about the industry to get in touch. We want to hear from prospective students, apprentices and also hospitality businesses who we can work with for mutual benefit.”

Exciting upcoming events in the L20 Hotel School’s 2014 calendar include Dave Critchley from Liverpool hotel London Carriage Works serving food from the L20 kitchens on 21 February.

The school will also be the home of @projectscouse on 28 February to support the inaugural Global Scouse Day.

During March, L20 Hotel School will be marking National Apprenticeship Week with Nigel dropping in on 6 March to take part in a Q&A on how apprentices can benefit a business and also working with apprentices to serve dinner.

Catalan and Spanish restaurant Lunya, housed in Liverpool One, will be based at L20 on several days during March to serve lunch and dinner.

Finally, food and wine from Nigel’s company Ribble Valley Inns will feature on the L20 menu from 25 March.

For full details on the L20 Northcote Apprenticeship and the L20 Hotel School visit www.l20restaurant.co.uk or contact Mike Mounfield on email mike.mounfield@hughbaird.co.uk or call 0151 353 4518. For more information about Northcote Group visit www.northcote.com or call 01254 240555.

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