Catering students from Northampton College teamed up with three award-winning local chefs to create a delicious three-course ‘binner’ out of ingredients destined for landfill.

The students joined forces with James Peck of Burnt Lemon Catering, Arthur Dzerins of The Hopping Hare and Natasha Caton ‘The Loving Chef’ to produce a series of stunning dishes as part of the fundraiser for Elsie’s Café in Northampton.

The chefs were handed ingredients from supermarkets that were earmarked for the rubbish dump as they were approaching their best before date. The food, which included prime cuts of rib eye steak, chicken and root vegetables, was then transformed into restaurant-standard dishes for 70 diners at The Lane – the college’s own student-led brasserie.

Phil Martin, head of catering at Northampton College, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work in a busy service under the guidance of some exceptional chefs. They will have learnt a lot from the experience and it was very pleasing to see them come together and work for each other as part of a team to make the event a roaring success.”

Diners tucked into a starter of pressed chicken with curried onion puree, pickled carrot and burnt cauliflower before enjoying a main course of steak with root vegetable dauphinoise, sautéed greens and horseradish crème fraiche. Dessert was an all vegan trio of tofu tiramisu, cacao and bluebuerry torte and mango and ginger ice cream.

Sheena Cooper, founder of Elsie’s Café which is part of the national Real Junk Food Project, said: “We are thrilled with the event and are very grateful to Northampton College for hosting us in their state-of-the-art kitchens and beautiful restaurant. The students were a credit to the college.

“The standard of food prepared by the chefs and the students was unbelievable. It really is incredible to think this food was on its way to landfill before we intervened. We are passionate about feeding bellies, not bins and thankfully this food was given the treatment it deserved, ending up on people’s plates rather than joining the tonnes of needless waste in a landfill site.”

As well as helping out in the kitchens with prepping and plating up, catering students also worked as front-of-house, assisting volunteers from Elsie’s Café to serve dozens of diners who helped raise hundreds of pounds for charity.

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Schools from across Northamptonshire will go head-to-head to compete in a ‘low carbon challenge’ aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

‘The Big Rig’ will be held as part of Northampton College’s ongoing ‘Igniting The Spark’ campaign – a drive to encourage young people to consider courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

The event, to be held on April 24 and 25, will see teams of eight Year 10 and 11 pupils competing against other local secondary schools to install a solar powered water system on a large scaffolding platform at the college’s Booth Lane campus.

The challenge will consist of a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions linked to the curriculum, with a strong focus on health and safety. Teams will be judged on a range of set criteria including how well they understand and plan the project, economical use of materials, design of a rain water collection system, waste management process and how effective they are as a team

Hands-on activities will enhance pupils’ problem solving skills and improve communication team-working and leadership skills. At the end of the session, tutors will provide feedback and pupils will be encouraged to reflect on their group experiences. Daily winners will then compete in a final on Friday, April 27.

Patrick Leavey, deputy principal at Northampton College, said: “We hope ‘The Big Rig’ will mark a renewed interest in, and commitment to, the development of science, engineering and technology as a career for young people in Northamptonshire.

“There is a skills gap in these industries, representing an opportunity for young people to step in and bring their own ideas and thinking to the workplace. We want to create a future workforce capable of thinking for themselves, solving problems quickly and efficiently and using technology to create innovative new ways of doing business.”

The session follows on from two previous ‘Igniting The Spark’ workshops held in conjunction with the UK Space academy, which has seen students from seven Northamptonshire schools take a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the solar system and find out more about the science of space.

Northampton College has recently revealed its proposal for a £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre at Booth Lane, which will help train the next generation of construction industry professionals including builders, plumbers, carpenters and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping future workers with the very latest skills.

Alongside courses which focus on craft skills there will also be courses at Level 3 for those looking for supervisory, technician or management careers in the sector, such as in Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering, or Project Management.

Building work on the centre, which will include a revolutionary ‘Digital Lab’ featuring a Virtual Reality classroom, 3D printing facilities and industry-standard workshop equipment, is scheduled to get underway next summer.

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Students from four schools across Northamptonshire have taken a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the solar system and find out more about the science of space.

A series of space-age workshops were held at Northampton College, with pupils from Abbeyfields School, The Ferrers School, Kettering Buccleuch Academy and Sir Christopher Hatton Academy taking part in the sessions – run by The National Space Academy.

The ‘Igniting The Spark’ sessions, which saw students learn how to build a telescope, build model comets using dry ice, launch their own compressed air rocket and discover what lifeforms need to survive in space, were held throughout the day on Friday, March 23.

Patrick Leavey, deputy principal at Northampton College, said: “Studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects opens up a wide variety of interesting and exciting opportunities for the future, in many different industries and working environments all over the world.

“Many of the major challenges facing society in the 21st century need solutions which can only be developed by people with STEM skills so it’s vital we encourage people to look at studying in these areas.

“These workshops offer a compelling insight into what it would be like to both study STEM subjects and work in that field in the future. It was wonderful to see the students so engaged with their learning, having fun and discovering exciting new techniques. Hopefully it will help to ignite the spark and encourage them to study STEM subjects.”

The UK space industry is looking to grow its annual turnover to £14billion by 2020 but to meet that growth it needs young people to choose science and engineering options and further their learning in this area.

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Business is once again booming in Northamptonshire, with a glittering ceremony set to reward the county’s leading lights.

The launch of the 2018 SME Northamptonshire Business Awards will take place at Northampton College on Tuesday, 24 April – giving the county’s brightest business brains the chance to network and kickstart the process of crowning our champions of commerce.

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Ambitious plans have been unveiled for a state-of-the-art facility aimed at tackling the severe skills shortages threatening to hit the construction industry in Northamptonshire.

Northampton College has revealed its proposal for a £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre, to be built at its Booth Lane campus, which will help train the next generation of builders, plumbers and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping the workforce of the future with the very latest skills.

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Northampton College has teamed up with iconic shoemakers Church’s to champion the workforce of the future and find the county’s best apprentice.

The best young talent in the county will be unearthed as part of the inaugural Northamptonshire Business Awards, with the college and Church’s joining forces to sponsor the coveted Apprentice of the Year category.

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A Northampton College student has been hailed a hero having helped save the life of a pensioner having a suspected heart attack at a bus stop.

Fred Whitworth, an 18-year-old Level 3 Public Services student at Booth Lane, stepped in after spotting the 79-year-old man in distress in St Gregory’s Road, Northampton.

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