It’s not every day you get to show the lead singer of one of your favourite bands how to make cocktails – but that’s exactly what happened to UCB student Georgia Wheatley.
The 17-year-old found herself teaching Brad Simpson from pop rock group The Vamps how to make an ‘Old Fashioned’ after he’d finished a wine tasting session with his dad at Michelin-starred Simpsons in Edgbaston, where Georgia works as a part-time waitress.
A fan of the band - who shot to fame in 2013 with their debut single Can We Dance, have recorded with the likes of Demi Lovato and recently supported Little Mix on their Glory Days tour - the Food & Beverage Service Level 2 & 3 student said she was totally “starstruck”.
“Most of the Simpsons staff are used to seeing celebrities in there, but I’m quite new to the experience and as a fan of The Vamps, I was completely starstruck,” said Georgia, who has also met Pop Idol’s Gareth Gates and Coronation Street star Faye Brookes at the restaurant.
Luke Tipping, the executive chef at Simpsons who received a professorship in culinary arts from UCB, is no stranger to celebrity diners.
However, aware of Georgia’s excitement, he snapped a picture of her with Brad, who has 1.8 million followers on Twitter alone.
“To get to make an Old Fashioned with Brad and receive a thank you note from him was amazing,” she said. “Glad Luke took a pic or my friends wouldn’t have believed it.”
Recently completing her Dom Pérignon Champagne training at Simpsons, life is a blast right now for the tenacious teen, who also works part-time as a commis chef at Home Is Where café deli in Birmingham city centre, which specialises in hearty ‘eats, beats and treats’.
Attending UCB’s Young Waiters Academy when she was 15 as a way of getting real-life experience and returning to UCB in September to complete her Level 3 qualification, Georgia has dreams of opening her own cocktail bar one day.
In the longer term, she would like to follow in the footsteps of her UCB lecturers. “One day, I’d like to train as a teacher and show students how to cook,” she said. “Give something back.”
Find out more about courses at UCB’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management.