Links between education and food production in Fife were given another big boost last weekend thanks to the work of the Fife Food Network.
As part of an ongoing commitment to encourage joint working, the Fife Food Network and the SRUC Elmwood Campus enjoyed considerable success at the BBC Good Food Show in Glasgow.
The network invited the Elmwood hospitality department to staff the Food from Fife/Visit St Andrews Seasonal Tasting Theatre at the show.
Chef/lecturers Wullie Balfour and Vicki Munro brought eight highly motivated and enthusiastic students to the show and they worked both in the kitchen and front of house.
One of the network’s directors, Viv Collie, said that the college team had three days of intensive activity under Willie and Vicki’s professional supervision.
“The students had a fantastic learning experience, and were vital to the success of the theatre,” said Viv.
The view was echoed by Wullie, whose young chefs helped to prepare and cook off some of the ingredients brought along by Fife chefs and producers.
“Working with the industry chefs was a fantastic experience for our students. It let them see the pressures of a working to a budget and to a timetable, and they took a lot away from the three days.
“They haven’t stopped talking about their experiences, and they now have a wonderful start to their CV’s.
“We do invite guest chefs at the college, but the students have never experienced the level of intensity that comes with an event like the BBC Good Food Show.
“The atmosphere was fantastic, and everyone was so appreciative of their work.”
Vicki was equally delighted for the students she coached through the process of interacting with the customers in the theatre and delivering the tasting plates quickly and efficiently.
“They had first hand experience of how versatility and adaptability are vital in the fast moving environment of a major event.
“The students were well motivated, and professional in the way they dealt with everyone.
“They would never normally have the opportunity to meet so many different people from so many different backgrounds, see celebrity chefs at work, and have the opportunity to meet some of them.
“The youngsters all really appreciated the chance to work with the Fife Food Network, and they were absolutely buzzing when they came into college this morning” she said.
One of the students was Spud Henderson, who is training to be chef and will complete his studies at Elmwood next year.
“The show was really inspiring for all of us, and it has made me even more determined to reach the top in the industry” he said.
The photograph shows the team with Nick Nairn, who visited them at the Tasting Theatre. Click to see full image.