A taste of success for budding chefs

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One of the country’s most distinguished chefs has given college students a taste of what it takes to succeed in the restaurant business.

Two Michelin-star chef Sat Bains spoke to trainee chefs and aspiring hospitality professionals at West Nottinghamshire College about the route towards a rewarding career, saying: “There is no such thing as a fast-track. Develop your skills and set yourselves five-year and ten-year plans.”

His advice came courtesy of a question-and-answer session with a group of 40 students on the college’s culinary skills, professional cookery, and hospitality supervision and leadership diploma courses.

The celebrated culinary figure told students how he entered the industry on the back of a college education – and gave tips on how they could achieve their own ambitions.

Toni King, 31, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, who studies the level two diploma in culinary skills, said: “It was amazing to have somebody of Sat’s stature come into college and share his experience with us.

“Sat really inspires me and he’s somebody I look-up to. He’s reached a level that I want to be at in the future and because he started out like us, it shows that if he can do it, we can too – and that gives me the strength to want to succeed.”

The chef, whose renowned Nottingham establishment Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms currently ranks number-one in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants list, said: “We’re trying to build a culture of longevity across the industry as a whole, so if I can inspire young people to do well, we’re only going to be wealthier as an industry. But you’ve got to start at this level, when they’re getting their education at college.”

Sat was visiting the college to judge the best young chef category of this year’s Nottinghamshire Food and Drink Awards.

The ‘cook-off’ was staged in the college’s training kitchens for the second year running.

It saw six cooks aged 18-22 from restaurants across the county battle it out to create a winning main course and dessert, with the winner due to be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by celebrity chef Aldo Zilli on June at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.