John Rich and Riley Coleman graduated from their Professional Cookery course at Newbury College in 2017 and have recently joined the team at The Pheasant in Highclere.
The Pheasant in Highclere opened its doors in July 2019, but it has a much longer history. Initially founded in the 17th century, the Hampshire pub was renamed as The Yew Tree Inn during the 1980s. It was later well known for its famous affiliation with Michelin starred chef, Marco Pierre White. Current owners Ryan Stacey (pictured) and Billy Callaway reverted the establishment to its original name as a tribute to its heritage.
In the busy restaurant kitchen, we caught up with John, Riley and Head Chef Ryan to find out how the young chefs are progressing. Both of the ‘chef de parties’ are in charge of their own sections and are entrusted with preparing assigned dishes that they have also helped to develop.
“Riley was the first to join the team,” Ryan told us, “and I was really impressed by his attitude and enthusiasm from the start. Riley recommended John a few months later, and they are a strong team.”
Ryan, a former college-trained chef himself, explained how he is a firm believer in vocational, college education. He has been impressed with the level of basic skills and work ethic possessed by his recent recruits, that can be largely attributed to the training they received on their course.
“I feel that I learned and achieved a lot in the two years I studied professional cookery,” said Riley, who was busy preparing seasonal vegetables for the evening menu, “I am very appreciative of the help and
the encouragement my lecturer gave me.”
“The course was a good choice for me,” added John, who was working on a vegan, gluten-free banana bread of his own creation. “I enjoyed the Open Day and thought it would be the best place to study what I wanted to make a career out of. I enjoyed the practical side to the course as I learnt a lot of skills from doing this. It has helped me progress in my career.”
Both chefs are now putting their training into practice, and their employers couldn’t be happier. Business has been so good at The Pheasant; the owners are already thinking about expanding the team and are on the lookout for new talent to join them.
To find out more about Professional Cookery courses at Newbury College visit www.newbury-college.ac.uk/catering and to sample the delicious dishes served up at The Pheasant visit www.thepheasanthighclere.co.uk
The Financial Times fDi magazine has recently ranked Newbury amongst Europe's top cities and regions of the future for 2020/21, alongside Paris, Munich and Moscow. The fDi rankings consider the infrastructure, incentives and capabilities of cities and regions for attracting future inward investment.
With many large, multi-national companies and organisations headquartered in West Berkshire and the surrounding area, the development of higher education provision is considered to be a crucial part of Newbury's vision for the future.
University Centre Newbury (UCN) is a partnership between Newbury College, local universities and employers that will provide high-quality education and training that meets business-critical needs and delivers economic growth in the region.
For more information on UCN visit www.ucn.ac.uk or visit the Open Event at Newbury College 15:30 - 19:30 on 19 May 2020.
Inspired by a visit to the West Berkshire Museum, Foundation Diploma students studying Art & Design at Newbury College have developed a portfolio of work which has been commissioned by the Museum and transformed into an exhibition called ‘A Time and A Place’. The exhibition will be open at the Museum until 26 April 2020.
The students were delighted to have the rare opportunity to explore and handle the museum artefacts, under the expert supervision and direction of Clare Bromley, Learning & Participation Officer at West Berkshire Museum. Clare also visited the College to give the students feedback and guidance on the development of their artwork.
Clare Bromley, said “It has been wonderful to work with Newbury College staff and students on this project. The superb exhibition is a reflection of all their hard work. We hope that the exhibition will encourage new audiences to visit and in particular, the young people, their family and friends.”
The students have been preparing the displays through sampling and exploring a wide range of 2D and 3D materials, technique and processes including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpting and Sarah Gordon, Art & Design Lecturer commented, “This opportunity has been invaluable for the students, giving them insight into the practicalities, constraints and creative potential of producing work for a client which is of a professional standard. The opportunity to display work in the public domain is integral to supporting their progression onto a career in the creative sector.”
You can visit ‘A Time and A Place’ at the West Berkshire Museum, Wednesday – Sunday between 10:00 – 16:00, until 26 April 2020, visit www.westberkshireheritage.org for more information.