A new pastry and confectionary kitchen equipped with state-of-the-art kit has opened at Cornwall College St Austell with the backing of leading industry partners.
The facility includes a conching machine, chocolate tempering machine and some of the latest designs of moulds to make artisan chocolates and spectacular sugar and chocolate showpieces.
The St Austell campus is part of the Cornwall College Group, which was recently recognised as one of the best catering colleges in the UK by People First, after receiving centre of excellence status in three disciplines, including patisserie and confectionary.
Chef lecturer Shirley Sweeney said: “We are now better prepared to both maintain and build upon those standards with the realisation of our new artisan pastry kitchen, equipped with up-to-date equipment for working with chocolate.”
The facility will officially open in September, but a cohort of catering students recently got to try out the new kitchen and after only a few hours of instruction were able to produce an amenity-sized showpiece for the design unit of their qualification.
Sweeney continued: “The facilities are excellent. In addition to the individual sugar lamps that hang from the ceiling, the kitchen also boasts individual benches designed with a marble insert, essential for both complex sugar and chocolate work.”
The marble components of the professional tables were designed, made and donated to the college by Lee Curnow, managing director of Redruth-based Varcurn Marble.
Students who start in September will be able to access these facilities and there are plans to offer short courses for chefs already working in the industry.
Curriculum lead for professional catering, Grant Mather, said: “We’ve listened to the needs of industry and to the desires of our students and created this excellent facility. Our aim is about making learning work and equipping our learners with the skills and expertise that will make them stand out.”