Catering and hospitality staff and students at The Sheffield College have been given top marks by industry inspectors.
Sparks Restaurant at The Sheffield College’s City campus, on Granville Road, has been awarded the prestigious AA College Rosette Highly Commended.
The AA rosette rewards college restaurants that have a clear brand, excellent links to industry, and highly polished service levels, with clear support from lecturers in addition to a commitment from staff to their ongoing professional training. Qualified AA hotel and restaurant inspectors with relevant industry experience carry out the visits.
The AA endorsement is also part of a broader accreditation process led by the Hospitality Guild, that has at the same time recognised excellence in teaching in the catering and hospitality department resulting in a gold rating.
The College is one of only four further education colleges nationally to be ranked at that gold level, with the standard of teaching in the catering department leading to recognition as a Centre of Excellence in Patisserie as well as a Centre of Excellence in Food and Beverage Service.
Heather Smith, Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “This is a fantastic industry endorsement of our talented students and the quality of teaching from our staff, and I want to congratulate them on this well deserved recognition.”
Mick Burke, Deputy Head of Learning, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, added: “Sparks Restaurant provides a realistic training environment for students that replicates the high professional standards expected of them when they go on to work in the industry. The catering and hospitality team is absolutely delighted with these awards.”
The 60-seater training restaurant, which will be re-launched as The Silver Plate Restaurant in September, is open during the academic term time for five lunchtimes and three evenings a week. It provides high quality cuisine to the public, whilst training catering and hospitality students in the skills industry needs and under the supervision of experienced staff. Visit www.sheffcol.ac.uk or call 0114 2602060.
The facilities include live TV screen coverage of the kitchen in operation. The food served is contemporary, and is based on classical and modern themes using commodities sourced as much as possible within a 20 mile radius.
The menu choice ranges from a three course set lunch from Monday to Friday, an early bird themed evening on Wednesday evening and a tasting menu on Thursday evening. Sparks has an extensive wine cellar and a fine selection of beers and liqueurs and provides Barista quality coffee. All desserts, ice cream, sorbets, bread, petits fours and handmade chocolates are made in a purpose built patisserie kitchen.