The team of hospitality students and staff at City College Norwich’s Debut Restaurant are celebrating a glowing review of their food and service, which has seen the restaurant receive a ‘Highly Commended’ AA College Rosette.
The college’s Debut Restaurant, which is located on the Ipswich Road campus, trains the next generation of chefs and front of house staff by giving students experience of working in a fine dining restaurant which is open to the public.
In her report, the AA inspector says that, “The dishes were well executed and thoroughly enjoyed and would not be out of place in a fully-fledged restaurant.” She goes on to say that, “All members of the team, front of house and back of house, carried out their work with true professionalism” and that “The hospitality was warm and genuine throughout.”
This commendation for the Debut Restaurant, made at the “upper end of the award”, reflects the high standards, professionalism and attention to detail that the college’s staff and employer partners seek to instil in students throughout their time at college.
The invaluable work experience gained by students in the Debut Restaurant is enhanced by opportunities to work alongside leading Norfolk chefs through regular themed ‘takeover’ evenings. Recent events have seen students learning alongside the likes of Charlie Hodson, Daniel Smith, Richard Hughes and Chris Coubrough.
One of those working in the restaurant when the AA inspector visited was Level 3 Hospitality Supervision and Leadership student Sophie Ralph, 19, from Norwich. Sophie says that the AA commendation demonstrates to employers the standards Debut Restaurant students are working to:
“It was a good feeling because you know what you are doing is at a high standard, and employers will know that what you are doing is at a good standard. When people say that the service was good, it makes you feel happy, it confirms that what you are doing is good.”
Fellow Hospitality Supervision student, Ryan Gotts, 19, from Norwich, added:
“It’s really good to have someone like that come in. It really does showcase how good the restaurant is. We’re not just a training restaurant, we’re a real restaurant, serving real food to real customers. Having someone recommending us so positively really shows that.”
Alan George, Debut Restaurant Manager and Hospitality Lecturer, commented:
“Retaining our ‘Highly Commended’ AA College Rosette provides recognition of the hard work, progress and achievements of our students studying for front of house and professional cookery qualifications. I am proud to be part of the team delivering vocational learning that has reached this high standard. The award is respected by both the hospitality industry and customers, it will help our students to stand out to employers when they are applying for jobs.”
The Debut Restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner service during term time. Menus, and details of upcoming guest chef takeover events, can be found at http://debut.ccn.ac.uk. You can also follow the Debut Restaurant on Twitter: @debutrestaurant. Call (01603) 773227 for bookings.