Just before Christmas I was invited out to the Isle of Wight College restaurant, for a three-course Christmas meal. I’m writing about it because I spoke to some of the students, as well as staff members, and I was impressed with their energy, effort and enthusiasm.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect fantastic service or high quality foods – but this is exactly what I was served. The food and service is cooked and served students of the college, who are studying hospitality, and I think the future is bright for those who put together a wonderful course of food and treats.
A little bit about the food
I had the choice of four different starters, and because I’m a fan of Game I decided to go for the Game terrine serve with a fig and cinnamon chutney. It was full of taste and flavour – and the perfect start to the evening.
I followed this up with the main, and for this I chose the Roast turkey, sage and onion stuffing, honey glazed York ham and bacon wrapped chipolatas, as well as cranberry sauce and game chips. All freshly prepared and cooked by the students and all served promptly. I was really impressed by the service provided by the students who made sure the food was served hot.
To finish up I chose the chocolate and orange tort (see picture), which left me wanting more. With puddings like this they can sometimes be a little too rich for my liking – but this was the perfect sweet selection to finish a fine course of three meals.
After the plates had been cleared, the students then provided tea, coffee, minced pies and chocolate to end the night.
The man behind the team
Following on from the meal, I spoke to Emmanuel Ferdinand, the Restaurant Manager – and the man behind the tutoring of the students.
Speaking to Emmanuel, I found out more about his past, how he has worked in many exciting and sometimes exotic places – and how he wants to pass his knowledge on to the students. Emmanuel trained at a top catering school in Paris, achieving a Masters in Hospitality and Catering, before working in France for Hilton and the famous Ritz Champs Elysee.
The future is bright for those learning the hospitality trade at the Isle of Wight College, and I cannot wait to visit again for another chance to sample the wonderful food on offer.