A restaurant within an academy, which is run by students and caters for the public, has become so successful it has doubled its opening hours.
Students cook and serve a la carte meals to members of the public
In 2011, the Messenger reported the opening of Telescope – a new restaurant and kitchen at Longfield Academy – where trainee chefs learn to prepare and cook meals, and get to grips with front-of-house hospitality.
Initially only open one day a week to the public, the restaurant became inundated with bookings and now opens for business two afternoons a week.
The kitchen will soon be opening its doors to the public as well for adult cooking classes.
The number of students taking the course has also grown from 14 in the first year to 20.
Chef Paul Plummer teaches the 17 and 18-year-olds.
He said: “The restaurant is fantastic for students to experience what it’s like working in a professional kitchen.
“They have their own work stations and are each responsible for a certain part of the meal; be it preparation, cooking, presentation, or front of house.
“We also source everything we can locally, and are working with restaurants in the area to develop work experience opportunities.”
Student Corey Bush, 17, said: “I really like everything about this course so far and it’s a great to cook for the public alongside the year above as well.”
Rhea, Paul Plummer and Matt
The students are all working towards their City and Guilds Diploma in professional cookery and hospitality services.
Sponsored by The Savoy in London’s Strand, the restaurant offers a three course gourmet meal – from confit of duck to crème brûlée – for just £9.50.
Director of learning at the academy Lee Harris said: “The restaurant has got a really nice feel to it and is just a bit different.
“People would pay a lot of money for the food our students serve up.”
The restaurant is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from noon until 2pm.
For more information or to check the menu and reserve your lunchtime meal, click here.