University of Derby serves up a helping of cash for the NSPCC

19 January 2017

Hospitality students at the University of Derby have won the chance to work with some of the UK’s top chefs while raising thousands of pounds for children’s charity the NSPCC.

A group of hospitality students and some chefs demonstrating a recipe

They will form one of the teams of chefs and front of house staff at the biennial fundraiser in historic Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which has raised £17,250 over three events.

The banquet is organised by Corpus Christi with the help of A Passion to Inspire, a non-profit making, voluntary initiative, developed to bring education and industry closer together. Highly respected chefs Cyrus Todiwala, Adam Smith and Mark Poynton have pledged to take part.

 “It’s a phenomenal experience to work on a real, major national event for such a high profile organisation like the NSPCC, not only because of the exposure, but also the professional opportunity of working with such high profile people,” said University of Derby Culinary Arts Lecturer Leonard Cseh.

The Culinary Arts and Hospitality students will have a say in the menu and design of the evening, and some of them will be preparing and cooking the dishes, while others will work front of house, serving guests.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to develop their understanding of the fundamental aspects of delivering a successful event  – what are the expectations of your client and guests, what is the purpose of the event, what are the business objectives, and what are the operational objectives”, added Leonard.

“It’s not just cooking, it’s everything else: delivering an excellent guest experience and working to very high standards. For students it’s a fantastic opportunity: once you encourage them to work at the highest standards so that is no longer a one-off, it becomes the norm.”

Called The Feathery Feast, the banquet on March 25th will feature poultry and game.

Murray Chapman, founder of A Passion to Inspire, said the students would get their names on the menu as a permanent record of taking part.

He said: “We want students to walk out and say ‘Wow – I did that dish.’

"That’s what’s important to us.”