Two Level 3 Professional Cookery students were given the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Germany with the Great British Skeleton team for one of the race series ahead of the World Skeleton Championships next month.
Raven Francis-Myrie and Chloe Faiers were chosen by Lecturer Ryan Fernandes to go on the trip to Winterberg, in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, for one week to volunteer as private chefs for the athletes.
The duo dished up hearty meals including chilli, paella, curry and fajitas to keep their teams energised through the week of competition and the team’s Performance Nutritionist, Ruth McKean, said they did a ‘phenomenal job’.
It was not always smooth sailing for the duo however as they had to handle less-than-ideal kitchen facilities at their hotel and the lack of ingredients available to them.
She added: “The facilities weren’t great to cook for 10 people but these guys made it work. Chloe even made a cake on the final day using just a microwave.
“The team were really happy with Chloe and Raven and how helpful and proactive they were. They got on with the limited facilities they had and did an exceptional job under the circumstances. They really did themselves proud and presented the college really well. It showed how resilient they were to have cooked what they did with such limited facilities, it shows what they could achieve with a vaster kitchen set up.”
Ruth approached Ryan to choose two students who would be up to the task of producing balanced and nutritious meals for the team every day of the race series and he chosen the pair based on their experience and their enthusiasm for the role.
Ryan added: “When it comes to events like this, the facilities will never be what you would get in a commercial kitchen but they dealt really well with what they had and used their skills to cook balanced meals for the athletes.
“It was a great opportunity for them to go abroad and cook with local ingredients that they may not necessarily have in the UK. They sat down and planned what they wanted to make and then they had a back-up plan and did a great job overall.”
The Team GB Skeleton team are ‘on circuit’ from October through to March and at the University of Bath. Ruth said she wanted to look to local colleges with Level 3 students for the project who could work with the athletes to create meals which would help fuel them when they were on tour.
The pair said the experience was ‘unlike anything they had done before’ and hoped it would make them stand out as they continue on their chosen career path.
City of Bristol College student Raven said: “It was a new experience being able to travel to cook and it looks great for our future prospects. I looked forward to the new experience and going outside our comfort zone. Being in a different environment and country was really interesting. It was difficult trying to find certain things, like there was no fish anywhere, but we tried out different ingredients we don’t normally work with and were challenged to deviate away from our plan.”
Chloe added: “We learned a lot about how to be flexible with our cooking and, if something doesn’t work out necessarily the way we had hoped, then to not stress out about it. This sort of thing can really take you out of your comfort zone but since I went, I now really want to do it again and possibly experiment with cooking around the world with different ingredients and cuisine.
“I feel like I can gain knowledge and experience from travelling. We just jumped at the opportunity and when I started this course three years ago as a Level 1 student, I never would have imagined doing something like this.”
Find out more about City of Bristol College’s catering courses.