Monday, 19th June 2017

Double Michelin-starred chef Kenny Atkinson showed catering students how to keep a cool head in the heat of the kitchen during a masterclass at South Tyneside College.

He added the ingredients of experience and skill to help them prepare a five-course taster and wine taster menu for a sitting of 34 private and public sector VIP guests.

Kenny, owner of Newcastle’s Quayside’s UK Restaurant of the Year 2015 winner House of Tides, joined them in the college’s commercial restaurant, Bistro 150.

The facility allows learners to master – and then showcase - the high-level skills they learn on a range of first-class catering courses.

As part of the package of support, students Daniel Francis and Christopher Lloyd spent a day working with Kenny at House of Tides, which he opened with his wife Abbie in February 2014.

The restaurant has three AA Rosettes and was this year named as one of the UK’s top 100 restaurants by both Restaurant Magazine and the Sunday Times.

Kenny’s participation was organised by national catering company Sodexo, which operates catering services at the college’s main Westoe campus in South Shields.

Sodexo hopes such visits will encourage young people to become chefs, a profession in which it says there is an industry shortage.

Kenny said: “It was wonderful to spend time working with this new generation of chefs and catering professionals.
“I’ve enjoyed a fabulous career in this industry, and I like to pass on my experience whenever possible.

“Preparing a meal for special guests can be very challenging, but the students rose to the occasion very well indeed.
“I also enjoyed welcoming Daniel and Christopher to House of Tides. They have bright futures, and I hope they enjoyed their day working at my restaurant.”

The college’s partnership with Sodexo has previously led to masterclasses by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Paul Rankin, a Sodexo ambassador.

Rob Grainey, Head of Commercial Services at South Tyneside College, said: “Kenny is an inspirational chef who is using his talent to make a real difference to the learning journey of our students.

“He has exceptionally high standards and worked them very hard during the session, but all were hugely impressed by his expertise and skill.

“It is by working closely with professionals like Kenny that our students will get the best possible understanding of the level at which they must perform.

“I am grateful that he gave his time to come to the college and to work with Daniel and Christopher at House of Tides.”

Sodexo account director Jonathan Keitch added: “There is a shortage of chefs in the industry and it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit the right calibre of people.

“As South Tyneside is one of the few colleges that runs a catering curriculum, and with Sodexo providing its catering services, it was natural for us to set up this opportunity.

“It’s vital for the future of our business to encourage youngsters who are considering a career in catering.

“Having the chance to work alongside a Michelin starred chef will have left them with a lifelong memory.”

The college’s catering diplomas include level 1 kitchen and front of house, level 2 professional cookery, and food and beverage service, and level 3 professional cookery and patisserie.

Further information on catering courses is available by visiting or by calling 0191 427 3500.
Information on booking a table at Bistro 150 available by calling 0191 427 3542.