Michelin-starred TV chef Nigel Haworth has ignited his new partnership with Merseyside’s Hugh Baird College after hosting a dining event at the Bootle campus.
The Lancashire-based chef, famous for reaching BBC2’s Great British Menu final, teamed up with apprentices and students from the college’s L20 Hotel School to lay on a culinary masterclass for 50 guests – including leading figures from Liverpool’s Hoteliers Association.
The "Partnership Launch" dinner saw a four-course meal served up in the college’s recently refurbished L20 Hotel School restaurant in Balliol Road.
It marks the Michelin star chef’s first official visit to the college after recently signing a partnership to deliver student training sessions, mentoring and added value apprenticeship opportunities.
Hugh Baird principal and chief executive Yana Williams said the event demonstrated the college’s ambition to ramp up training standards for the UK’s hospitality sector.
"It was terrific to host a sparkling night of entertainment with Nigel, who is one of the UK’s most renowned chefs," said Williams.
Haworth, who also appeared on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and the Market Kitchen, has been involved in running the Northcote Group and Ribble Valley Inns since 1989.
In September 2013, he joined forces with Hugh Baird College to launch the L20 Northcote Apprenticeship. It is designed to provide "on-the-job" training with an opportunity for students who excel to gain employment in Michelin-starred restaurants.
It further delivers knowledge-based training on subjects including the origins of ingredients and the mechanics of running profitable kitchens.
Haworth said the Partnership Launch event highlighted the unique opportunity the initiative is providing to develop talent in the North West region.
"It was an absolute pleasure to join staff, students and apprentices at the L20 Hotel School to help deliver a memorable event," said Haworth.
"It was an inspiration to see people of all levels come together to share their passion and knowledge for the hospitality industry. The L20 Northcote apprenticeship is an ambitious project aiming to raise the bar and set new standards in hospitality training.
"A core objective is to structure training to meet job requirements rather than just the qualification standard. This latest event is just one example of the exciting opportunities on offer."
L20 Hotel School director Mike Mounfield said apprenticeships levels within the department had quadrupled in the last three months.
"To provide an indication of the connections we can create, recent successes include
L20 Hotel School apprentice Will Wilson being invited on an overseas exchange programme in Denmark, working alongside acclaimed chef Paul Cunningham.
"Furthermore, L20 Northcote level 1 apprentice Jamie Murphy has been invited to work alongside double Michelin star chef Gary Jones from the Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Oxford.”