CATERING students at West Cheshire College got a baptism of fire when chef Marco Pierre White came for breakfast.
The fiery three-Michelin-starred chef opened the new fine dining restaurant and training kitchens, called The Dining Room, at West Cheshire College’s 19,500sq ft state-of-the-art Ellesmere Port campus on Friday morning.
The students invited Marco to an informal breakfast to mark the opening of the 38-seater restaurant with guests including Ellesmere Port mayor Cllr Angela Claydon and Lord Mayor of Chester Cllr Eleanor Johnson.
The day before Marco had invited 10 of the students to his Steakhouse, Bar and Grill – based at Chester’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – to grill him about his passion, career and expertise before sampling the Marco-inspired cuisine.
Marco said: “For someone in my position I think the greatest gift you have is to inspire young chefs. All the great chefs I have worked with influenced and inspired me in a different way and fuelled my passion for good locally sourced food.
“The best advice I could give to these young people is that you make sure you work in the right establishment with the best chef. Be respectful, keep your head down and work hard. It is not an easy life but rewarding for those with passion.
“It’s an honour to open the college’s kitchens and restaurant for the students.
“I hope they take this opportunity, build on their skills and go on to make great food.”
Sam Stevens, assistant manager for hospitality and catering at the college, said: “This was an amazing opportunity for our students to meet one of the country’s leading chefs. Not only did they get the opportunity to find out more about Marco’s experiences and pick up lots of advice, they also had the chance to cook for him as well.”
The Dining Room will serve fine British cuisine with a modern twist. Its kitchen facilities include industry standard equipment for à la carte service, a 16-station training kitchen and a separate pastry kitchen, where students will make homemade bread and cakes for sale in the college’s catering outlets.