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Reading students cook up a storm at Royal Ascot

Students from Reading College got a taste for their future careers by doing work experience at Royal Ascot.

Royal Ascot is an annual flat racing meeting, which took place from 20-24 June, this year.

Professional Culinary Arts students studying from Levels 1 to 3 secured work experience with 1711 by Ascot. 1711 by Ascot is a partnership between Royal Ascot and hospitality company Sodexo, delivering outstanding hospitality, fine dining and on-site catering experiences.

The students were spread across a range of kitchens, preparing a variety of fine-dining experiences for the guests at Royal Ascot, from afternoon tea to lunches.

Some of them worked with the Head Chef of Manchester City Football Club, who came down to prepare and cook dishes for Royal Ascot.

Aser Andange is studying a Professional Culinary Arts Level 2 Diploma at Reading College.

He said:

I enjoyed working with people from different backgrounds with varying levels of skills at Royal Ascot. I got to work in lots of different areas and restaurants, which has given me lots of different experience of working in a fast-paced environment.

The work experience is unreal! I met a lot of high-grade people, including the Head Chef of Manchester City Football Club. It’s one of my dreams to work as a chef for a football club.

It’s helped me to see a career path and driven me more to do what I love, which is cooking. I see myself doing this in the future.

Hayden Rushby, Hospitality Lecturer at Activate Learning, said:

It was great to see the students getting experience at Royal Ascot and seeing them get involved in different scenarios.

“They got to experience a very busy environment, where they were preparing dishes for 600 covers a day, which is a different pressure for them.

It also helped some of the students to come out of themselves a bit more and inspire them to continue their studies at Level 3 and delve deeper.

Gemma Amor, Executive Chef at 1711 by Ascot, said:

Sodexo has nurtured my career for 28 years, so I’m now paying it forward.

“We trained professional culinary arts students from Reading College here at Royal Ascot, and it’s a part of my job that I love.

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