College restaurant retains prestigious award

A Shropshire college’s commercial restaurant has retained its ‘Highly Commended’ Rosette award for a further twelve months AND been voted one of the top eight College restaurants in the country

Last year, Origins Restaurant at Shrewsbury College received a wealth of awards from the AA College Rosettes Scheme, such as ‘Gold Accreditation’ and a ‘Centre of Excellence’ status as well as their ‘Highly Commended’ award.

The AA College Rosette Scheme has been designed to reflect current industry trends within realistic working environments. It recognises a restaurant with a clear commitment to students and the industry, where food is prepared and served with care and understanding to a standard which stands out in the local area. Furthermore, restaurants have to demonstrate that they are completely commercially viable and there are clear links with the industry locally.

Origins, which opened in 2014, is a state-of-the-art training facility for Hospitality & Catering students. It gives students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and stay ahead of industry trends. Students are led by qualified, experienced chefs and front-of-house professionals, and learn about the principles of cookery, flavours, food service and complimentary wines among other things.

Each year, the small selection of restaurants across the UK that have been awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ status will be revisited by the AA Rosette inspectors to see if they continue to meet the standards expected of them. Qualified AA Hotel and Restaurant inspectors with relevant industry experience recently revisited Origins to reassess their current award status and as a result of their continued efforts to be the ‘best in their class’, they have retained their ‘Highly Commended’ award for a further twelve months.

Andy Doyle, Membership Operations Manager from People First presenting the awards said: “The AA College Rosette Scheme, developed by People 1st and AA Hotel Services, recognises college restaurants for the quality of the food they produce and the level of service they deliver. The scheme has been designed to reflect current industry trends in the realistic working environment that college restaurants provide.

“Origins Restaurant at Shrewsbury College, also holders of the People 1st Gold Accreditation, continue to deliver quality food and service whilst ensuring their students are getting the experience needed to thrive in their future careers in this exciting industry.”

Chef Lecturer, Dan Gibbons at Shrewsbury College, said: “It is a great honour to retain our ‘Highly Commended’ status and still be one of only a few colleges nationally to receive this award. The students have continued to show great commitment and attention to detail, which sets them apart from the crowd – well done. We recently found out we had beaten off stiff competition to be named one of the best eight College Restaurants in the Year – again, beating off stiff competition. We had to put together a video and presentation at the awards ceremony in London and judges highly commended what we are achieving here.

Jackie Swan, Curriculum Lead for Hospitality & Catering at Shrewsbury College, said: “Our students and staff work extremely hard each year and we are incredibly proud of their efforts. They have shown their professionalism, enthusiasm and talent. Origins has a brilliant reputation for both its standard of service and cuisine and this is down to our students. They should be extremely proud of themselves.”