Newbury College officially open New Training Restaurant

Thursday, 24 October 2013 11:37
The new training restaurant was opened by Roger and Sue Jones from Michelin Star awarded restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn The new training restaurant was opened by Roger and Sue Jones from Michelin Star awarded restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Newbury College officially opened its new training restaurant on 22 October at 4pm with special guests, Roger and Sue Jones from Michelin Star awarded restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

The official opening began with a welcome by Newbury College Principal Dr Anne Murdoch OBE followed by speeches from both Roger and Sue Jones. Sue addressed visitors with a talk on how they have developed their business while Roger enthused guests with his experiences in the catering industry including working for Margaret Thatcher and Her Majesty The Queen. Sue and Roger officially opened the restaurant by unveiling a commemorative plaque, which will be placed in the restaurant.

The College is delighted that Roger and Sue Jones agreed to open the restaurant. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn is one of the most highly acclaimed restaurants outside of London and has been recognised for its award winning food for 15 years. Roger and Sue were honoured to open the new training restaurant and said, “It is a great privilege to be involved in such an exciting new development at Newbury College. The catering students will benefit hugely from having a real work environment alongside their training and tuition and we are delighted to be on hand for any advice or practical help that we can offer”.

VIP guests included Mayor of Newbury Cllr Anthony Pick, Mayoress of Newbury Cllr Catherine Kent and Mayor of Thatcham Cllr Mike Cole. Guests were treated to canapés and drinks reception served by the College’s catering students whilst touring the impressive restaurant and training facilities. Principal Dr Anne Murdoch said, “We are excited to have this new training restaurant facility. It will be a fantastic opportunity to welcome in the local community and provide dining at affordable prices. The training facilities will also be a great experience for our learners”.

As well as running their Michelin starred restaurant, Roger has become consultant to the Park House restaurant in Cardiff, is a judge on Decanter and Imbibe Magazine’s regular wine tasting panels and writes as a wine consultant for Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Both Roger and Sue are very committed to their chosen charities for whom they raise funds through organising events both at The Harrow and pop-ups further afield as well as working closely with the next generation of chefs and managers through colleges and local schools.

The new restaurant development has been made possible with the help of funding from a grant provided by the Education Funding Agency through West Berkshire Council. Various departments will see the benefits of this purpose built professional training restaurant. Hospitality and Catering students will have the ability to put into practice what they have learnt in theory classes, while foundation learning students will be able to gain work experience in a controlled environment preparing them for work.

Sue and Roger visited the College recently to meet and talk with catering students bringing with them a rare truffle from the truffle farm which they helped discover. On their visit they were shown the training kitchen, toured the facilities and gave a talk to students about the rare truffles that they have helped discover at a local farm, the only truffle farm in the UK. Roger explained how they find truffles and excavate them from the ground, going on to explain how they are used in cooking. Roger also demonstrated his lobster fish finger specialty which students served at the opening.