Leyburn chef helps catering students prepare for charity banquet

Leyburn chef Jonathan Harrison stages a workshop for catering students at Darlington College.

A Leyburn chef is helping catering students to stage a prestigious banquet for charity.

Catering students from Darlington, Middlesbrough and Newcastle Colleges will host an exclusive event for 200 guests at Gisborough Hall, Guisborough, in the spring, for the first time in the North.

Organised by Middlesbrough College curriculum team leader and chair of the Professional Association of Catering Educators Molly Shaher, with the support of The Royal Academy Of Culinary Arts, the Take 3 Colleges event will raise funds for the Adopt-A-School Programme, which started in 1998 to help generate investments and support to education outside mainstream funding and the national budget.

Held for the past 14 years in London, ten professional cookery students and their college tutor, supported by an industry mentor, will be provided by each college to work in the kitchens and front of house at Gisborough Hall on March 21.

Darlington College has been working with Jonathan Harrison, the chef patron of the celebrated Sandpiper restaurant in Leyburn, on the amuse bouche and fish course.


During a recent workshop at Darlington College Mr Harrison helped students develop and prepare a scallop and apple tartare amuse bouche and a sustainable deep water cod fish dish, which also included clams, squid and mussels, served with an onion bhaji.

He said: “I feel passionately about the need to pass on our skills as chefs and I’m delighted to be taking part in this initiative. This is so important to the rejuvenation of catering and getting people excited about the food they are eating.

“This has been an invaluable first trial of the courses we will be preparing on the night. The students have done a great job with the presentation, flavours and seasoning, which we will be able to develop further in the coming weeks.”

Darlington College tutor Dawn Cobb-Neate said: “It is an immense privilege to be asked to take part in such a prestigious fundraiser and I’m convinced the students will remember the occasion for years to come and be inspired by the experience.”

Student Brandon Seaman, 17, of Darlington, added: “The workshop was a great success and I loved being able to trial the recipes and have an industry professional try them out.”

Middlesbrough College students have been developing the main course with the help of top chef and restaurateur Kenny Atkinson, owner of the House of Tides in Newcastle.

Newcastle College students were asked to produce a pre-dessert and dessert for the event with chef and academician Terry Laybourne, who heads up the 21 Hospitality Group.

The initiative also has the support of Michelin star mentor Frances Atkins, of The Yorke Arms, who is also an academician of the RAOCA. The front of house element will be run by Molly and Nick Shottel of Hospitality 21, who is also an academician.

Tickets for the banquet can be obtained from Middlesbrough College Waterside Brassiere, on (01642) 333271.