Eight of our Catering & Hospitality
students were recently given the fantastic opportunity to work alongside some of Kent’s finest chefs at a charity dinner held in the beautiful surroundings of the Hush Heath Estate.
As a part of their Dine and Donate campaign, The Tree of Hope charity hosted The Ultimate Pop Up – a pop-up fundraising dinner that featured six of Kent’s best chefs all cooking an exclusive six course meal for lucky diners at the estate’s 400 acres of perfectly manicured vineyards, apple orchards and ancient oak woodlands near Staplehurst on 20th June.
Our students rose to the challenge of serving the delectable dishes created by the team of top chefs, including Scott Goss from Verdigris in Tonbridge, Bobby Brown from the Bank House Wine Bar & Kitchen in Chislehurst and Rob Marshall from The Warren in Tunbridge Wells. Completing the line-up were Rob Taylor from The Compasses in Crundale, Jamie Tandoh from The Bicycle Bakery in Tunbridge Wells and former West Kent College student and Kent Life Chef of the Year 2018, Will Devlin, of The Small Holding, Kilndown.
Joined by Hush Heath’s executive chef, Fabio Vinciguerra, the venue’s bar staff and mixologist Tammy Jackson from For Cocktail Sake, our students tackled their roles with admirable composure, contending with a very complex table plan and doing their bit to ensure that the event ran smoothly.
A charity auction was held on the night, officiated by Great British Bake Off star and Kent resident (and former Hadlow College student!) Jane Beedle. The auction, ticket sales and donations combined raised over £16,000 for Tree of Hope, which supports families of disabled and seriously ill children across the UK.
Organiser Kate Bourne, who is the charity's fundraising manager, contacted our Deputy Head of Faculty Sarah Hogben and chef lecturer Gordon Malcolm, to say: “I don’t really know how to express how grateful the team at Tree of Hope is for the immense amount of hard work you and the whole team put in. The students were a real credit to the college, working so hard throughout the evening and with real professionalism. It was great to see the room erupt in such a huge round of applause ahead of their departure.”