November 2019

Chef Samina cooks for Prince William and Kate during Pakistan tour

Read time: approx 1 mins

A former Professional Cookery student at University College Birmingham had the honour of making the VIP in-flight meals for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their recent five-day tour of Pakistan.

Samina Gul, a product development chef with Pakistan’s KC Flight Catering, made elevenses, afternoon tea and dinner for Prince William and Kate on two of their Royal Air Force flights during their whirlwind visit to the Asian country.

The flights, from Islamabad to Lahore and then back home to the UK, formed part of a visit spanning over 1,000km that gave the royals the chance to see Pakistan’s “rich culture, its diverse communities and beautiful landscapes.”

And it seems Samina excelled herself, her company receiving a letter from the catering manager of 101 Squadron Royal Air Force, Sgt Steve Roberts, expressing his appreciation of the in-flight chefs’ services and hard work.

“It was a great honour for me to serve the royals and to know they enjoyed it,” said Samina, who completed her Level 3 at UCB in 2015.

“I remember one of my lecturers once mentioning a boy who was working as a butler to the Queen and everyone was so proud of him. I am so happy to also be able to share my news with those who taught me at UCB.”

Samina, who has been working for KC Flight Catering – the largest private in-flight catering operator in Pakistan - for four years and also got to cook for Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman during one of his visits to the country, grew up in Rawalpindi, a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan.

During her time at UCB, she had many incredible opportunities, one of which was being encouraged by her lecturers to enter the first Asian Junior Chefs Challenge in London.

Receiving invaluable support from her UCB mentors, her team was thrilled to come overall second in the national competition.

Another stand-out experience during her time at UCB was a placement at Opus in Birmingham, which enabled her to hone her skills in a fine dining restaurant listed in the prestigious Michelin guide.

The high-flying chef couldn’t speak any higher of her training at UCB.

“Whatever I am today and whatever culinary skills I have learnt, all the credit goes to UCB and the amazing, highly-skilled chefs who taught me, encouraged me every day, and were always so proud of my achievements,” she said.

“It was the best decision ever to study at this amazing college and I want to tell current students that if they want to be the best in this industry, they have made the right choice. It changed my life and I’ll never forget all the support and guidance I had there.

“I miss everything about UCB.”

Find out more information on courses within UCB’s College of Food and Hospitality Management, the exciting opportunities they offer and our student success stories.

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