Andrew crowned the nation's best restaurant service lecturer
UCB front of house maestro Andrew Bisconti has been named the nation’s top restaurant service lecturer.
Andrew’s dedication, innovative approach to work and inspiring teaching were praised at the annual Professional Association for Catering Education Awards (PACE) in London.
Andrew, a former student at UCB, was named Best Restaurant Service Lecturer 2016 at the prestigious awards ceremony attended by hospitality and culinary education professionals.
In its commendation, PACE said: “Andrew left the judges with no doubt that he has successfully mentored a very wide range of students from schools through to higher education. With a very clear emphasis on identifying and supporting the needs of the individual, he develops and employs a range of teaching practices, technologies, interactive materials and industry links to engage students and enrich the curriculum experience.”
The PACE awards are a showcase for outstanding learning initiatives and techniques in hospitality training and development.
Andrew has been programme leader for UCB’s front of house programmes for several years and mentors 20 students on the Level 2 Diploma in Professional Food and Beverage Service. He also lectures on higher education courses on restaurant service elements and works with school placements.
The former restaurant owner is passionate about encouraging school pupils to consider front of house careers and had the idea of launching a Young Waiters Academy at UCB to inspire 14 to 16-year-olds to enter the business. He also works on two weeks’ activity around National Waiters’ Day so school children can experience a day in the life of a front of house professional.
The judges also took into consideration Andrew’s enrichment activities, including mentoring students in competitions, and innovative teaching practices, which have included digital technologies such as a digitised training manual and “learning mats” for assignments, written tests and practical sessions.
Andrew paid tribute to his own training at UCB, which he joined in 1988, originally on a chef diploma course. He switched to front of house in his second year and then progressed to higher education, an educational journey he thought he would never embark on.
“Academically, I didn’t think I was sound enough and I always loved the practical route. But being nurtured at UCB brought out the academic side,” says Andrew. “Studying here set me on a path for life and I have always loved front of house work.
“There is a diversity of customers and staff and the ability to progress quickly. There is real job satisfaction and it is motivating to talent-spot.”