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Jamaican-themed gourmet night is ‘perfect ending’ to Black History Month

Our City Restaurant opened with a bang last week after a year-long hiatus thanks to the pandemic, giving students the first of many opportunities to work with renowned chefs.

Students on the Level 2 and 3 Technical Professional Cookery kicked off the new academic year with a Jamaican-inspired menu, working in partnership with Rice & Things Executive Chef and owner, Chef Branatic Neufville.

Chef Neufville’s opening night menu promised a ‘taste of sunny Jamaica’ to warm up diners at the City Restaurant, with guest enjoying hearty stews, pineapple upside down cake and more.

He was brought on board by our Assistant Safeguarding and Prevent Lead, Annette Easy, who has worked with him on a variety of different community-oriented projects over the years.

The restaurant owner, who learned to cook in Jamaica before moving to the UK, grew up in care and spoke about the inspirational mentors he had growing up.

Catering students

He said: “I wanted to give back to the better cause of developing young people. When I was growing up, we had mentors come into speak to us and it would give us a different outlook on life and it makes a difference in the way you shape your future going forward. So anything to give back and to help and support the development of young people, and their aspirations, is what I want to do.”

Chef Neufville worked side-by-side with the students throughout the day to create a menu inspired by his home country.

He added: “The youngsters here are lovely. The energy in the kitchen is great and it is like I have been working with them for a long time. It was a nice atmosphere and everyone is really receptive and it is a good group of people.

“The menu will see a bit of fireworks and the students did some interesting dishes which are nice, authentic Jamaican food. All the guys worked tremendously hard and they put their heart and soul into it.”

Lecturer, Ryan Fernandes, said: “It was an amazing start to the gourmet dinners supported by Chef Neufville. A knowledgeable journey for our students and understanding authentic Caribbean cooking was the key highlight for the session.

“We are a diverse institution and it was a great way to end Black History Month, with some fantastic feedback and raving compliments from diners.”

To find out when the next gourmet night is and to book on, visit the City Restaurant section of our website.

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