Top chef returns to The Sheffield College to inspire the next generation

Home grown catering talent Daniel Ashmore has returned to The Sheffield College and wowed students and diners with his culinary expertise.

Daniel, 28, is the award winning Head Chef of The Pompadour at the five-star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh as well as a Sheffield College alumnus.

He gave around 30 catering and hospitality students an insight into fine dining skills when he was guest chef for a night at the College’s training restaurant, which is popular with the public. Also involved on the night were food service and event management students tutored by Maxene Gray.

Together with another guest chef, Ross Sneddon, Executive Pastry Chef at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Dan co-created the menu at a fine dining evening held at the College’s Silver Plate Restaurant on March 6th. 

While Daniel worked with apprentices and Level 3 students on the starter, fish and main course, Ross created the breads and dessert with apprentices and part time pastry Level 3 students.

Daniel said: “It’s really important to inspire young people going into the catering industry. I have gained so much from my time at The Sheffield College and wanted to come back and share my experience and the skills I have learnt with current students.”

The menu comprised canapés, salt baked beetroot with aged balsamic and hazelnut; sea trout with pickled endive and orange; soft herb custard tart, spring vegetables and truffle dressing; assiette of venison, quince, red cabbage and sauce grand veneur; celeriac and pearl barley “risotto”, crisp quail egg and kale; millefeuille of chocolate with caramel ice cream; hot beverages and petit fours.

Daniel completed a Catering, Patisserie and Hospitality Management NVQ at Level 3 at the College in 2008 and was taught by Len Unwin, Neil Taylor and Mick Burke. He added: “I am indebted to Len, Neil and Mick for all the knowledge, time and expertise that they passed on to me. Their passion, drive, creativity and care are inspiring. I still use their recipes today because they are so good.”

Celia Robotham, Assistant Principal of Business and Enterprise, The Sheffield College, commented: “It’s very rewarding to see our alumni come back and share their career success and skills with our current students to help them go further.”

She added: “We have a strong reputation in the catering and hospitality industry and are very proud of Daniel and our other highly successful alumni. It’s fantastic that Daniel and Ross have taken the time to share their industry expertise with our students who all did an amazing job on the night.” 

The award winning Silver Plate Restaurant provides high-quality cuisine using locally sourced ingredients, and allows students to showcase their talent under the supervision of experienced staff. 

The restaurant, which has been awarded the prestigious AA College Rosette Highly Commended, hosts tasting menus, lunch and evening meals, and themed nights. The facilities are also available for hire. Visit http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/college-life/silver-plate. Follow @TheSilverPlate

For more information about catering and hospitality course places for September, visit www.sheffcol.ac.uk or call 0114 2602600.

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