ESS Supports Culinary Apprentices at City of Bristol College

22 February 2023

ESS is working with City of Bristol College to support apprentice chefs undertaking their training there.  

Matt Lord, Regional Executive Chef for ESS Defence in the South-West, coached 12 Level 3 apprentices to deliver a recent gourmet dinner night at the College Green City Restaurant in Bristol. The team spent the day preparing the dishes which were served to customers in the evening.

The menu comprised:

Starter: Mackerel Tartar, Cornish Crab Cocktail, Pickled Fennel, Cucumber, Dill Emulsion

Main: Free Range Chicken, Kale, Carrots, Smoked Bacon Fondant, Livers  

Dessert: Sticky Date and Southville Hop Pudding, Blackberries, Sorbet, Fermented Apple   

Snacks: Oxtail, Cheddar Curd Nugget, Beetroot Ketchup and Pani Puri, Potato Chaat, Yoghurt  

Matt has supported the event for the past ten years and uses it as an opportunity to support individuals who are building their careers in the industry as well as to promote roles within contract catering.

The evenings are popular with diners and often attract returning customers.

Olivia Fox, City of Bristol College, commented:

“We were delighted to welcome Matt back as our guest chef to our City Restaurant for an evening cooking up a storm with our students. He is no stranger to visiting and supporting our students by sharing his culinary knowledge, having done so for just over a decade.

“Our key employers and partners were in attendance on the night, being treated to quite the feast whilst our students showcased their skills with Matt's guidance.”  

Matt added:

“Supporting the guest chef dinners at COBC is a key date in my calendar and something I look forward to every year. Engaging with our future chef talent and discussing their career plans helps them to understand the different career options available to them and gives me insight into what they are looking for from us as employers.

“It’s seeing the product that the students come out with at the end. Whilst it’s my recipes and my food, I try and keep as hands off as possible. I show them what to do, I then step away and they create the dish, serve the dish, and it’s great seeing good quality food go out and happy customers in the restaurant.

“I feel really proud of them, the best bit of the evening is standing out there when all of the guests are giving the students a round of applause and seeing the happy customers – that’s the main thing.”