Leyburn chef returns to college to inspire others

Chef Sean Wrest.

A chef is returning to his roots to share with students what it’s like to work with the best in the world.

Former Darlington College apprentice Sean Wrest will offer students and the public a glimpse of his life as senior sous chef at the celebrated Black Swan in Oldstead, near Thirsk.

Sean will bring his culinary slant to Darlington College’s Glasshouse Restaurant on November 15 when he and students will serve up a nine course tasting menu, costing £22.95.

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The 27-year-old, from Leyburn, secured his apprenticeship and his Level 2 and 3 qualifications at Darlington College training at the well-respected Sandpiper Inn in his home town.

Three years at the Sandpiper Inn under the watchful eye of chef patron Jonathan Harrison proved to be the perfect training for Sean’s next post, an internship at the renowned Fat Duck in Bray, the three Michelin star restaurant owned by Heston Blumenthal.

Back to the North Yorkshire, Sean took up a position at Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, before honing his craft at the chic fine dining restaurant Maaemo in Oslo.

His Darlington College tutor Dawn Cobb-Neate said: “He was a great student who thoroughly enjoyed himself.

“I am so pleased he has agreed to come back to work with our current cohort and stage a tasting night for us. It is going to be an incredible experience for us all.”

Sean said: “It is unbelievable working at The Black Swan. When you hear that they have come all the way from Canada and waited eight months for a table, that is humbling and exciting.

“I didn’t want to just produce a carbon copy of a Black Swan menu and really enjoyed putting this together for the college.

“Now I can share this with the students and diners at Darlington College. I think it is so important to give something back, to share my experience and offer some advice.

“Darlington College is a really good place to learn your craft and students go on to do some amazing things, which is a reflection of how good they are when they leave.”


  • To book a table at Sean’s dinner at Darlington College, contact the Glasshouse on (01325) 503030. For more details of opportunities at Darlington College visit darlington.ac.uk