Representatives from Northcote Group and Ribble valley Inns visited Nelson and Colne College’s School of Culinary Arts, to share their experiences and inspire young people to take up jobs in the Hospitality Industry.

The College’s School of Culinary Arts has a long-standing reputation for helping talented chefs and ‘front-of-house’ staff to ‘make-it’ in the catering and hospitality industry, with former students going on to work in a range of top restaurants including Michelin starred Northcote and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. The College regularly invites prominent local chefs to lead a special service and students are encouraged to aim high within the hospitality industry.

Staff and students were therefore pleased to welcome a team from Northcote, who attended to give the students an insight into what it is like to work for a top restaurant group. Attending the event was Joint Managing Director Craig Bancroft, Marketing, PR & Social Media Executive Laura Crabb, Group General Manager Steve Goodwin, Executive Chef Lisa Allen, and Assistant Managers Joe Thompson and Martin Hurn.

All of the visitors gave the students insightful and interesting presentations about life at Northcote, highlighting the Group’s commitment to championing local produce, from beers to meat and vegetables, and its dedication to nurturing its own talent from within. 50% of the Management Team at Northcote progressed to their current job roles through their internal management development schemes.

The students were particularly interested in Executive Chef Lisa Allen’s presentation. She talked them through the creation of a special dish, steak tartare, giving this traditional dish some innovative twists! During her demonstration, Lisa gave the students her background and how she came to work in some of the best kitchens in the UK, highlighting to them that through sheer grit, determination and a ‘can do’ attitude, young people can create outstanding careers for themselves in the industry.

Lisa also went on to explain how the chefs at Northcote know the producers of their ingredients so well and that the passion for local produce really does shine through and make a difference to the excellence of the dishes prepared in the kitchens.

Co-owner and Joint Managing Director of Northcote Group, Craig Bancroft also talked to the students about his start in the business and his appreciation of wine, citing its important place in the industry as an often overlooked career choice. Craig was keen to impress upon the students that there are as many career choices ‘front-of-house’ as in the kitchens and that the role of a sommelier is one of the best paid in the industry!

Feedback from students who attended the event was fantastic, and many commented how inspiring it was to hear the stories of visitors and how they gained exceptional careers in the industry.