Students shake things up and play 'restaurant inspector' at Purnell's

September 2018

A group of Food and Beverage Service students not only had the chance to learn how to make cocktails with the best during a visit to Michelin-starred Glynn Purnell’s Birmingham bistro, they were invited to play ‘restaurant inspector’ and review the food experience.

The nine, Level 3 students were whisked off to Purnell’s Bistro & Ginger's Bar for a mixology masterclass to kick-start their second year at UCB, after which they were treated to a working lunch to critique.

During the masterclass with bar manager Charlie Budge, the group learnt to make everything from Whisky Sours and Mojitos to Pink Panthers.

Assisting Charlie was Brett McSkimming, who graduated from the Food and Beverage Service college course himself this year before being taken on at Glynn’s bistro as a Level 4 apprentice, combining his plum job with further study at UCB to put him at the very top of his game.

Lecturer Christine Alberto said she took her Level 3 students on what she called The Purnell’s Experience every year on the back of a great relationship with owner and TV star Glynn. However, it was the first time they had stayed to sample and review the rustic British fayre.

For the lunch, students had the choice of a starter of chicken terrine or leek and potato velouté, a main of beer battered fish and chips or Herefordshire blade of beef, and a pudding of goat’s cheese mousse or almond sponge.

“I took my students to Purnell’s to get hands-on bar experience as part of their Service Supervision module, with Charlie taking them on a whistle-stop history of cocktail making and how to match ingredients,” said Christine. “The students then got to have a go themselves.

“This time, however, we also sat down for a working lunch, including the amazing opportunity for the students to act as ‘restaurant inspectors’ as one of their course assessments.

“They drew up a questionnaire themselves before the visit and critiqued everything from atmosphere to presentation and product quality. Such an experience for them to have at one of Glynn’s restaurants, the likes of which many of them had never been to before.” 

She added that seeing Brett assisting Charlie so fantastically was a particularly proud moment. “Brett had a tough time at school and when he came to UCB, he was lacking in confidence,” she said. “He is a very different young man now, witty with such flair. He has truly blossomed.”

Find out more about UCB’s Food and Beverage Service Level 2 and 3 college course.                 

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