We all know we have a local treasure right here on our doorstep! So too do students from Cheshire College – South West, having spent a day at The Harthill Cookery School.
Highly acclaimed Chef and former hospitality and catering student, Brian Mellor, recently held a celebratory barbecue feast for local students and we just couldn't resist featuring the image of 'Beer Can Chicken With a Herb & Butter Paprika Rub'!
Brian, an ambassador for the College, invited hospitality and catering students to his Harthill Cookery School where they were treated to a delicious barbecue lunch but not before getting involved in the preparation whilst also picking up new techniques, skills and concepts from Brian.
Annabel Graham, Professional Cookery student at Cheshire College – South & West, said: "I really enjoyed the barbecue. It was extremely interesting and exciting to learn new cooking skills and amazing to be taught by a professional Chef.
"Brian was a great mentor on the day, making sure everyone was included at each stage and part of the team. Working alongside someone who has so much experience of the industry was great and we gained lots of useful tips. He is really passionate and enthusiastic about what he does, which really rubbed off on us, as we all left feeling motivated and inspired."
As Founder of the North West Young Chef Competition in 2002, Brian is passionate about teaching future young talent. The competition, now in its 16th year, has helped hundreds of chefs gain valuable contacts with producers, peers and mentors along the way.
Brian commented: "Having started out many years ago at Cheshire College – South & West, I've been keen to work together where possible so have kept in touch. With the growth of their international links and major successes over the past few years, it really has evolved as a dynamic College.
"I've always had a passion for teaching, having worked in training roles and teaching part-time in colleges alongside my career. I opened Harthill Cookery School in 2011 with the aim of bringing everything and everyone from my life as a Chef together. Chefs, cooks, butchers, bakers, preservers, patissiers, pit masters, foragers, makers of food and memories come to share their knowledge and enthusiasm.
"I thoroughly enjoyed working with the students; they were full of enthusiasm and eager to learn. I'm looking forward to becoming more connected over the coming months."
Brian has experienced many aspects of the food industry. At 23 he was a sous chef in a hotel, before being head hunted to work for a multi-national company. He said the "in house training was like nothing he had ever experienced" and he was also seconded several times to Michelin starred establishments. From here he wanted to ensure other young chefs gained the teaching and development opportunities that he was privy to at an early age.
Mark Parsons, Director of Faculty – Arts, Business and Services at Cheshire College – South & West, said: "It's a true privilege to have Brian as an ambassador for the College.
"We are incredibly grateful to him for giving up his time in order to support, teach and develop our students. It really is invaluable experience for them and we are looking forward to unveiling more exciting collaborations with Brian throughout the year."
If you are interested in hospitality and catering courses available at Cheshire College – South & West, or would like more information on the courses available, visit scc.ac.uk or call the College hotline on 01270 654654.