Last Thursday saw Year 10 Hospitality and Catering students working in collaboration with The George Hotel in Lichfield. Twenty of our own budding chefs had the privilege of working with Executive Chef Nigel Parnaby and Head Chef Mark Wilton, alongside Mark Santy the Hotel General Manager, to produce a sophisticated afternoon tea for fifty guests.

During the morning students received a masterclass on each of their responsibilities, learning how to work as a team to execute each individual element of the afternoon tea. High level skills in were used to de-bone chickens and skin fresh salmon, as well as advanced baking skills decorating delectable tarts and producing trays of sumptuous profiteroles and ‘light as a feather’ sweet and savoury scones. Students worked under pressure to meet their preparation deadline and to impress the professional chefs on hand. By the afternoon the food was prepared and students then had a different focus for the remainder of the day. Training was given by the front of house manager on how to lay a table for afternoon tea and how to effectively serve guests. Once guests started arriving, students impressed with their good manners and commitment to delivering an excellent service.

Guests included parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters as well as staff, governors and special guests. All of the feedback was hugely positive not least reflected by the clean plates and requests for cake boxes in order to take home the food that could not be managed there and then! Guests left well fed, happy and impressed.

In addition to The George Hotel, the event was supported by The Lichfield Tea Company and Arthur Price of Lichfield. There was also a small raffle to help raise funds for ‘We Love Lichfield’.

Lottie Hearn, Assistant Headteacher said: It is events like these that really help to give students a real experience of what it is like to work in a more professional environment with experts in their field. I also think that it is great for parents and carers to be able to come and experience the results of some very intense learning and see the children at their very best. I know that it really encourages students to work hard and we appreciate the support from everyone involved.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “We are looking to continue our excellent relationship with The George Hotel next autumn by working with their team to put on an exclusive evening meal cooked by our students and served at the hotel. The hotel have been a long-term supporter of Friary students and we have been thrilled with this latest project.”