Students cook up a storm at the Natural History Museum

17 December 2015

Students from the University of Derby cooked up a storm at a national event held to celebrate business excellence in London’s famous Natural History Museum.

Ten undergraduates from Events, Culinary Arts, and Hospitality courses were given the chance to work behind the scenes at what was billed by the organisers as an “extraordinary event in an extraordinary place” - thanks to the University’s links with industry.

They helped to prepare, cook and deliver hospitality at a corporate clients glittering celebration of its success run last month by top catering firm Payne and Gunter, which specialises in events in eye-catching venues. At the Natural History Museum, guests can dine alongside a full-size Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton cast or take an escalator ride through the Earth’s crust to the centre of our planet.

At the end of the evening, they were called on stage to receive a round of applause from guests.

Payne and Gunter are part of the international Compass Group, which has close links to the University. Peter Rayner, Contract Director for Compass’s Chartwells section, recently gave £10,000 in grants to help support University of Derby students while they studied in placements.

He added: “Working for the world’s largest food services provider, we know how important it is to the industry to get really good people.” 

“Placements are the epitome of real-world learning. If I could fill my operations with real-world learners that would be fantastic.”

Gerrard McDonna, one of the students involved said: “It was an invaluable experience. It was a great feeling.”

To find out more about studying Culinary Arts, Hospitality or Events Management at the University of Derby, go to: