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Student chefs at Edinburgh College gave customers at the new Aldi store in Tranent a taste of their culinary wizardry at the shop's opening day event.


Student chefs at Edinburgh College gave customers at the new Aldi store in Tranent a taste of their culinary wizardry at the shop's opening day event.

The students prepared tasters of recipes they had prepared using Aldi products to welcome shoppers to the new store. Customers were delighted to sample butternut squash soup, chocolate tarts, tandoori salmon with naan bread, and beef tagliata, and snapped up recipe cards to use at home. 


This is the second store opening Aldi has asked students to cook at, following the opening of a new Cowdenbeath shop last month. The events were a chance to gain practical experience and engage directly with customers, receiving immediate feedback.

Kerry Robertson, one of the five SVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery students at the event, said: "This has been a really great opportunity to work and show off what we've learned on our course. I don't have a job in the catering industry yet, so events like these give me the experience I need to take to future employers. I've been serving the samples to the customers today and had some really nice comments."

Lecturers Chris Cockburn and George Baker accompanied the students. 

George said "We're really grateful to Aldi for giving us the opportunity to help out with their store opening. It's valuable for us as a college and for the students, as it lets people know just how high quality our students and teaching are."

The Professional Cookery course prepares students for working in the catering industry through training in food preparation and restaurant service. Students use these skills working in the college's Granton Campus canteen and the two college training restaurants, The Apprentice and eh15.


Four Edinburgh College Hair & Beauty students have made the cut in a UK-wide hairdressing competition, taking home six awards at the regional heats and qualifying for the national final. 


​Four Edinburgh College Hair & Beauty students have made the cut in a UK-wide hairdressing competition, taking home six awards at the regional heats and qualifying for the national final. 

Students from colleges across Scotland unleashed their scissors skills for battle to be crowned best in their category in the first stage of the Association of Hairdressing and Therapists (AHT) Awards. Edinburgh College final-year HNC Hairdressing students Danielle Clark and Lesley Fox picked up gold medals in the Fantasy and Commercial Men’s Cut and Finish categories of the heats, held at Coatbridge High School. And Level 2 and 3 Hairdressing students Kay Corbet and Claire Miller took home silver in their categories, including Gender Transformation and Advanced Skills. All the medallists have qualified for the UK national AHT Awards finals in Blackpool next month.



Danielle won the judges over in the Fantasy category for the three-foot high fantastical hairstyle she perfected on her model. She will compete in two categories at the finals – Advanced Skills and Avant Garde.

She said: “I was completely shocked at receiving first place as there were more than 25 entries. The standard was really high and I was nervous my look wouldn’t be enough to wow the judges. 

“I spent weeks mastering the style and also had to body paint my model, with only 30 minutes on the day to get it right.”

Lesley was the cream of the crop in the Commercial Men’s Cut and Finish category, using her best scissor skills under pressure on the day. This was her first time competing. 

She said: “It was honestly an unforgettable experience. Within such a small team, and up against hundreds of students from other colleges, we managed to win so many medals.”

Jackie Steele, Hair and Beauty lecturer at the college, said: “All of the competition team were amazing and did us proud. I was especially pleased with the Fantasy results as this was a huge section and we bagged first and second places.
“Danielle took a year out from the course to work and came back with a vengeance - she’s now one of the most talented and driven learners we have.”

The students are now preparing for the national finals, which will take place in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on 13 and 14 March, joining finalists from England and Wales. Competition categories across the weekend will include everything from Avant Garde to Ladies’ Fashion Cut. 

Edinburgh College is one of two Scottish colleges to be recognised as a Wella Centre for Excellence. The college is welcoming applications for a range of August start Hair and Beauty courses that offer on the job learning in professional training salons. Apply now here: http://www.edinburghcollege.ac.uk/Courses/


Budding young chefs cooked up a treat for their school head teachers at Edinburgh College, learning in a real restaurant environment as part of a scheme to bridge school, college, university and work.


Budding young chefs cooked up a treat for their school head teachers at Edinburgh College, learning in a real restaurant environment as part of a scheme to bridge school, college, university and work.

The class of 15 students from the South East Scotland Academies Partnership (SESAP) Hospitality and Tourism Academy prepared and served a three-course meal for their head teachers at the college's eh15 training restaurant. The meal was part of the students' assessment on the course, which is preparing them for education and careers in hospitality and tourism.


SESAP is a partnership between Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University, Borders College, West Lothian College, five local authorities and industry.

The ground-breaking initiative is hailed as one that is delivering real results for Scotland's young people. In the last three years, the Academies project has given hundreds of young people aged 15 - 18 years of age, the opportunity to study at college and university, undertake work experience and learn about industry, whilst still at school. This initiative improves skills, highlights career options and improves employability whilst also helping to raise industry standards.


Teachers from schools including Broughton High, James Gillespies, Portobello High and St. Thomas of Aquins were welcomed with canapes and sparkling wine and treated to fishcakes or salmon for starter, a Balmoral chicken main and a trio of sweet desserts.

Courtney Horsburgh, one of the students from Musselburgh Grammar School said: "The night went so well. We've never experienced having so many people in the restaurant before so it was a big challenge and I'm really proud of how well we worked as a team.

"Getting such amazing comments from the teachers made it extra special."

Jennifer Bingham, Hospitality and Tourism Academy Coordinator, said: "It's really great to see the students develop good kitchen and front of house skills so quickly. Working in the training restaurant at Edinburgh College is an excellent way for them to learn and they enjoy experiencing all the different roles associated with the restaurant. The opportunity to work as part of a team and deliver an event, gives them a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

"The evening was a great way for guidance and head teachers to see how far the students had come in such a short time on the Academy programme and it's very rewarding to see how they have grown in confidence.

"We are delighted that many of our Academy students have developed a real passion for the industry and now aim to pursue related courses at Edinburgh College or Queen Margaret University."


The Hospitality and Tourism Academy students will be preparing and serving three course meals in the college's Eh15 Restaurant on Tuesday evenings at 5pm during term time. These are priced at just £7.50. To book visit http://www.resdiary.com/Restaurant/eh15 or contact the restaurant on T: 01313447344 or E: eh15@edinburghcollege.ac.uk


Edinburgh College's young scissors stars styled their way to victory at the finals of a national hairdressing competition in Blackpool, taking home a haul of medals.


Edinburgh College's young scissors stars styled their way to victory at the finals of a national hairdressing competition in Blackpool, taking home a haul of medals.

Students Danielle Clark, Lesley Fox and Karla Robertson won Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Avant Garde category of the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) UK Trainee competition. The girls went head to head with students from colleges across the UK at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, preparing their final looks against the clock.

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Kay Corbet and Danielle Clark also won Gold and Silver in the Fantasy section, winning their places in the finals after impressing the judges in regional heats in Glasgow. Kay then won Bronze in the Advanced Skills category, representing Edinburgh College at the top of the leaderboard with a total of six awards. All winners were awarded with a medal and certificate.

Danielle, who has competed in the AHT national competition previously, drew inspiration for her fantasy look from candy skull dolls, creating a hairstyle that stood at 27 inches as well as designing an outfit and body painting her model.

She said: "I was in total shock when they called out my number as there was so many amazing hair creations in both categories, and over 20 entries - I didn't dream I was going to win anything. It felt so good to see all our hard work pay off and bring in the top spots for Edinburgh College. I am still overwhelmed and in disbelief. It's an amazing result to come home to."


Jackie Steele, Hair and Beauty lecturer and the winners' mentor, added: "My girls have worked their socks off to achieve these looks, practising at home and at college at weekends and evenings. The standard was very high and the judges took a long time deliberating. I have never in all the years I have had students competing, or even when I have competed myself, heard of one college picking up Gold, Silver and Bronze in any category.

"I am absolutely blown away with the result. Edinburgh College's hairdressing team definitely left its mark on the AHT and set the standard for other colleges from across the country."

The Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) UK Trainee Competition is an annual competition that gives students the opportunity to showcase their skills in a chosen field. 


​Edinburgh College students and staff from several curriculum areas have been praised for their work organising a charity ball for TSB Bank at Granton Campus.


​​18 October 2016

Edinburgh College students and staff from several curriculum areas have been praised for their work organising a charity ball for TSB Bank at Granton Campus. Those studying cookery, hospitality and events as well as chef and front-of-house lecturers were involved in the event at The Apprentice training restaurant, which was hosted by TSB to raise money for local charities.

As well as arranging the running order, coordinating furniture and dealing with external partners, the students helped prepare canapes and a four-course meal, and served the food and wine to guests throughout the evening. Guests were entertained into the wee hours by local band the Soul Kings.

Guest feedback was extremely positive, including:

"The service was excellent. My friend is gluten intolerant and the way they spoke to her and offered alternatives was what you would expect from a fancy restaurant, not a college."

"The staff were amazing and always looking to please."

Richard Morris, food and hospitality lecturer, said: "Working on events like this gives the students a real insight into what it's like to work with a live client on a real event and they will pick up skills that you can't learn in the classroom. The praise from the guests and TSB was extremely high and everyone had great fun too."

Martin Hay, TSB Community Ambassador said: "I would like to give the team a huge thank you. The event went to time, ran incredibly smoothly and was a pleasure to attend. I would not hesitate in recommending the college as a venue and would actively encourage it to run more."

The charities supported by TSB are:
• St Columba's Hospice - Its mission is to ensure everyone within our community has access to excellent palliative care whoever they are, wherever they are and whenever they need it. 
• Fresh Start - Provides essential support to individuals and families who have found themselves homeless
• Venture Scotland - Offers an outdoor-based personal development programme which empowers vulnerable young people aged 16-30, who face complex and difficult problems. 


​Edinburgh College teamed up with some of the country's top chefs and the Cyrenians to lay on an evening of fine dining and charity fund raising.


​24 November 2016

Edinburgh College once again teamed up with some of the country's top chefs to lay on an evening of fine dining, to raise money for the Cyrenians.

Funds raised through the cook-off event go towards Cyrenians' work including its homeless prevention service; befriending service for older people; recovery service for addicts; recruitment and skills centre; and food education.

The event took place at Edinburgh College's Food Court where the professional cookery and hospitality students worked alongside the chefs in order to create a seven-course menu. The chefs included: Daniel Mellor, head chef at the Observatory restaurant at The Glasshouse Hotel; John Newton executive head chef from Apex International; Sebastian Kobelt, patissier and chocolatier from Linlithgow; Brian Grigor, head chef of the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant at The Balmoral Hotel, the inaugural winner of BBC's MasterChef:The Professionals, Derek Johnstone, who is head chef at the Golf Inn at Gullane and private chef Jane Pollock.

Hugh McCluskey, curriculum manager for professional cookery and hospitality at Edinburgh College, said: "Our students were delighted to have the chance to work with top chefs and soak up their hints and tips while helping a good cause. Opportunities like this inspire them to focus on their studies and continue to produce fantastic work."

Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians chief executive said: "We are delighted to have the support of Edinburgh College, these superb local chefs, and many of our corporate supporters to lay on this unique evening of fine dining.  The monies raised will have a direct impact on our ability to continue to support those excluded from family, home, work or community.

"The Cyrenians work to create opportunities for disadvantaged people by offering effective and lasting routes out of homelessness and promoting social inclusion. The charity focuses on four targeted areas of service: family and people, home and housing, work and skills, and community and food. "

 


​A group of 35 Edinburgh College students have been praised for their work at the twentieth Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland lunch that took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.


​1 December 2016

A group of 35 Edinburgh College students have been praised for their work at the twentieth Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland lunch that took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

The annual sell-out event, attended by 440 guests from the hospitality and events sector in Edinburgh, saw talented students studying hospitality, professional cookery and events at the college help to set up the event, host tables, prepare and serve canapés and the four course meal of langoustines, monkfish and soufflé.

The students, who are studying at various different levels across the college, worked alongside executive chef Craig Hart and his team to execute the event, which was hosted by broadcaster and DJ Grant Stott, giving them exposure to the fast-paced hospitality and events environment and the opportunity to work alongside and learn from professionals at a real event.

Richard Morris, Food and Hospitality lecturer at Edinburgh College, said: "This is our fifth year of being involved in the largest industry luncheon of the year in Edinburgh, celebrating the success of HIT Scotland. It gives our students a taste of not only what it is like to work in a five star hotel but also being part of a large team delivering to many industry peers.

"I am proud to say we had 35 students involved in this event in both kitchen and front of house areas and we hope that they gained some invaluable experience."

David Cochrane, chief executive of HIT Scotland, said: "At HIT Scotland we strive to shine a light on the best in hospitality and help develop those entering, or working, in the industry.  Through our scholarships and bursaries catering and hospitality students are given the opportunity to learn from the best, and there is no better place to showcase this experience than at the HIT Edinburgh Lunch that is attended by some of the top industry leaders in Scotland.

"The event was a huge success, raising over £58,000, and the team of Edinburgh College students did an outstanding job and we'd like to express our gratitude to all of the lecturers and students involved on the day."

Emma Owenson, a first year HNC Hospitality and Tourism Academy student, said: "The Sheraton was truly amazing. I loved every minute of the day. The people were so nice, the presentation of the tables very neat and the presentation of the food was impressive. I am so happy and glad to say I did this Charity event as it is such a talking experience. I would love to go back and do it all over again. "

The students were presented with HIT achievement certificates as recognition of their involvement in the event.

Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland is a Scottish based charity whose mission is to assist people to achieve their potential within Scottish hospitality through bursaries and scholarships.

 


​Junior masterchefs and future hospitality stars from local schools got a taste of the pressure cooker atmosphere of fine dining as they prepared and served a three-course meal to their headteachers at Edinburgh College.


​2 December 2016

 

Junior masterchefs and future hospitality stars from local schools got a taste of the pressure cooker atmosphere of fine dining as they prepared and served a three-course meal to their headteachers at Edinburgh College.

The 15 senior pupils from Edinburgh and Lothians schools – all studying on the South East Scotland Academies Partnership programme – were catering the launch event of the academies' new curriculum.

The academies – a joint project set up by Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University, local authorities and industry - give pupils the chance to study at college and university as well as experience the workplace while they are still at school. Previously, the full academies programmes were for two years. From now, each programme will take one year, offering more flexibility to students and opportunities to experience different industries.

The changes were announced at the curriculum launch dinner at Edinburgh College's eh15 training restaurant at its Milton Road Campus. Students on the Hospitality and Tourism Academy – one of the three academies in the programme – get to use the industry-standard restaurant facilities to hone their cookery and hospitality skills and cook for guests.

The fifth group of academies students began this year, with the other academies covering Creative Industries and Health and Social Care. The programme now has 34 schools from across Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders, and partners include Borders College, local authorities and businesses. Students aged between 15 and 18 can study at an academy during their senior school years, supporting their transition between school, further and higher education, and the workplace. This boosts their career options and employability, and they can also earn an industry-recognised qualification while still at school.

The change from two-year programmes to one year means that students can learn more flexibly and have more choice as to how they spend their two final senior years. They can gain the full academy experience in just one year, still having time to concentrate on their final years at school, or they can experience two different academies during S5 and S6.

Jon Buglass, assistant principal at Edinburgh College, said: "The academies have now given many students opportunities to get lots of practical experience and knowledge from their time at college, university and on placement with employers. We've reviewed what students and schools want from the academies, and the new one-year programme will make it an even more attractive option to get a head starts towards education and careers.

"The meal the students prepared and served for us at the launch really was excellent and shows just how much they've learned in a short time. Getting to work in a professional environment and being responsible for feeding people with high standards could be daunting but this shows that the method works, that giving young people these kinds of opportunities allows them to thrive."

Jon added that the project pre-empted the objectives of the government's Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) programme and, along with a range of other initiatives, is delivering on the national aims and targets of DYW.

Dr Richard Butt, deputy principal at Queen Margaret University, said: "Responding to industry need and the demand from school pupils, we will now include the study of events management within the Hospitality and Tourism Academy. QMU has an international reputation in events management. We are pleased that academy students will now be able to gain the skills and experience of this growing global industry, an area which is currently not normally available via the school curriculum."


​Twelve aspiring young chefs from Edinburgh and the Lothians competed in Springboard's FutureChef local final at Edinburgh College this week.  


​21 December 2016

Twelve aspiring young chefs from Edinburgh and the Lothians competed in Springboard's FutureChef local final at Edinburgh College this week.  

The group of 12-16 year old school pupils had an hour and a half to prepare, cook and serve a hot main course and a hot or cold dessert for two people whilst working within a specified budget and ensuring a nutritionally balanced meal.

FutureChef aims to tackle the severe skills shortage facing the hospitality sector by offering young people the opportunity to develop their cooking skills and understanding nutrition.

Hannah Cowan of Bathgate Academy and Wojciech Cyzewskyi of Castlebrae High School fought off stiff competition to be crowned the winners on the day and will go on to represent their region in the Central and South Scotland Regional Final on 2 February 2017.

Mandy Purdie, catering lecturer at the college, was one of the judges on the day alongside Stephen Frost, exec chef at Sodexo Prestige.

Mandy said: "The standard of food cooked by the pupils was outstanding. They demonstrated experience and technical skills beyond some first year catering students. We were all truly blown away by their efforts and they gave us a tough decision when choosing the winners.

"We hope Hannah and Wojciech will join us for a day in the college kitchen and that all of the pupils will consider a career in catering. They were all fantastic and we would be delighted to welcome them to study at the college."

 


Celebrity hairdresser Chris Foster becomes college's first patron of barbering.

​17 February 2017

Chris Foster, one of the leading players in the UK’s male hairdressing industry, has become the first Patron of Barbering at Edinburgh College following a visit to pass on his expertise to students.

Chris’ role as Patron will see him as an advisory for the hairdressing department and Barbering students, passing on his knowledge and skills through workshops and events.

He is a regular on television and radio, and is often asked to comment on hair trends and celebrity styles on shows such as Daybreak, the Alan Titchmarsh Show, Sunday Brunch and Beauty School Cop Outs.

During his visit to the college, Chris delivered workshops of his finest barbering techniques for Level 2 Barbering students, which included classic and contemporary methods such as basic detailing and patterns, advanced fading and cutting techniques. He also did a masterclass for staff.

Chris said: "It is a great honour to be Patron of Barbering at Edinburgh College. Edinburgh College has shown great commitment in providing high-quality barbering education to its students. My passion is education and it’s been a pleasure to share my knowledge at Edinburgh College again and to inspire the next generation of barbers to follow their dreams.

“I look forward to working closely to support the team and the students as they explore the depths of barbering skills and get a greater understanding of the importance of standards and professionalism within the barbering industry".

Frances Bain, Edinburgh College, curriculum manager for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Complementary Therapy, said: “We are very proud of our Barbering students and want them to have up-to-date, innovative training. We were honoured to have Chris Foster take time out of his busy schedule to present to us and we are delighted to welcome him as our Patron of Barbering, especially as we launch our new Level 3 Barbering provision for 2017/18.

“His distinctive approach to male grooming is creative and delivered with great passion and enthusiasm - it would be very difficult not to be wowed. The day of his visit was packed full of demonstrations, with artistic flair giving a unique approach to male grooming. The students were buzzing and in awe of this great man. Chris Foster is a genius and a gentleman and we thank him for his continued support.”

Jackie Graham, a Barbering student at Edinburgh College who took part in Chris’ masterclass said: “He was inspiring, charming and a pleasure to meet and learn from. His delivery was simple and effective and he had a great sense of humour. It was such an amazing opportunity.”

Chris runs the Foss Academy, a training service specialising in education in the men’s grooming market. He has also developed the UK’s first barbering education app offering tutorials based on techniques and methods used by elite barbers. 




​Several students on the SVQ Level 3 Hairdressing course have secured a scholarship with Medusa Training academy, following the introduction of a partnership with the college.


14 March 2017

Several students on the SVQ Level 3 Hairdressing course have secured a scholarship with Medusa Training academy, following the introduction of a partnership with the college.

Five students were chosen by Medusa Training director Ross Millar and his team, based on their avant garde look, a part of the course where they have to draw on skills learned from other areas in order to plan and design a range of images. The skills needed include: communication, principals of design, presentation and evaluation. The winners were chosen from the two classes at Granton and Milton Road:

Granton
Kerry Duff   
Emily French  
Nicole Sneddon  

Milton Road
Lianne MacCoquodale 
Hayley McEwan

All students were presented with a certificate for their work and the five winners have been invited to do a one week placement at one of Ross' salons during the Easter break.

Frances Bain, curriculum manager for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Complementary Therapy at Edinburgh College, said: "We are very proud of our Hairdressing students and want to give them every opportunity to secure employment in the industry. We are delighted and very excited that after many months of discussion we have now secured a partnership with Ross and Medusa, along with our first scholarship winners.

"We share the same views as Ross when it comes to training – we both want learning to be inspirational and enjoyable. This collaboration allows us to work hand in hand to prepare and nurture our hairdressing students, making them confident stylists that will have a positive impact on the hairdressing industry. Ross has a vast knowledge of the industry and we are delighted to have his support."

Ross Miller, director of Medusa Training said: "One of the reasons I wanted to have the Medusa Training academy in the first place was exactly for this reason - I believe in education and it's what the college is all about. Working with Frances and her team at Edinburgh College gives us a fantastic chance to create potential progression into employment for as many students as possible, giving them the chance to see experienced hairdressers and salons in operation.

"I also recognise as a salon owner that all salons need apprentices and what a great way to find them by working with colleges and supporting them as best as we can, not only to upskill the students but also to help support the lecturers. I think it creates the perfect partnership, ticking lots of boxes for both parties, benefitting us as well as the college staff and students. It really is a win, win!"

The partnership with Medusa Training aims to strengthen industry links and employability opportunities for students as well as providing training sessions from industry experts and, work experience and advice for students and staff.


​Edinburgh College student Troy Flood, who is currently studying the Level 1 City & Guilds Diploma in Professional Cookery, is through to the finals of the Gibby Culinary Scholarship at Gleneagles Hotel.​


​29 March 2017

Edinburgh College student Troy Flood, who is currently studying the Level 1 City & Guilds Diploma in Professional Cookery, is through to the finals of the Gibby Culinary Scholarship at Gleneagles Hotel.

Troy is one of six competing for a full-time position at Gleneagles in the competition. In order to secure his place, he had a one to one interview, followed by a paper assessment and a skills test which involved precision knife skills and cooking an egg white omelette.

Talking about the experience, Troy said: "I was over the moon when my name was called out first. I'm very excited for the final cook off on 25 April at The Cook School, Kilmarnock. It's a two-hour head-to-head where I will have to produce two different meals. The ingredients will be revealed to us very soon.

"Overall I had a fantastic time at the semi-finals and I'd like to offer a big thank you to my lecturer Robin Austin for his continued support and to the team at Gleneagles for being amazing hosts. I'll be sure to keep you all posted as to how I get on in the finals!"

The Gibby Culinary Scholarship was created in memory of Alan Gibb, executive chef at Gleneagles who passed away suddenly in June. Applications were invited from all Scottish colleges and there is no age restrictions.​


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