August 2015

UCB summer school for new chefs

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The next generation of chefs have been brushing up on their practical cookery at a special summer school at University College Birmingham.

The five-week bridging course provides students who have limited kitchen experience the knowledge and skills to allow them to flourish when their degree starts in September.

More than 90 students will start their three and four-year Culinary Arts Management courses next month and 18 of the new recruits having been taking advantage of the residential summer school.

The sessions cover the preparation of stocks, soups and sauces and classic cooking methods such as stewing, roasting and braising. Practical lessons are combined with theory tests for a rounded introduction to culinary studies.

For one of their tests, the students had to cook a navarin of lamb, a home-style bistro favourite using neck fillet, and braised rice.

Monika Martuzeviciute, aged 19, represents the truly international flavour of the bridging course intake. Monika, from Lithuania, joined new students from the Czech Republic and Cyprus as well as UK-based trainees.

The group stays together at UCB’s modern accommodation at The Maltings, in the city centre, which helps them to get to know each other and settle in to university life in Birmingham.

The bridging course, led by chef lecturer Mike Edwards, features a week specialising in pastry techniques. The new students then take charge of the university’s roof top café, on the eighth floor of the Summer Row building, cooking for fellow students, staff and visitors for five days’ of on-the-job training.

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