Hospitality and catering students grabbed the opportunity to showcase their skills on one of the county's biggest stages with both hands by manning the kitchens at the Carlsberg Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.
Students were given the chance to help prepare and serve a delicious three course meal at the glittering event, held at the Royal & Derngate theatre to celebrate the county's thriving food and drink industry.
More than 500 guests tucked into a Northamptonshire sharing platter of salt beef, gammon, potted beef, smoked salmon brandade, cheese, chutney and sourdough before enjoying a Black Gate beef and Northamptonshire ale pie served with mash, mushroom ketchup and peas.
Special guest, TV wine guru Olly Smith, was among those impressed with the students' work, which saw them round off the evening with a Northamptonshire marmalade bread and butter pudding served with white chocolate and blackberry ripple goats milk ice cream inspired by the cook-off for Young Chef of the Year, held in the Booth Lane kitchens.
Former Northampton College student Danny Tompkins was named the winner of the coveted Chef of the Year category and will now spend time at The Ritz in London working with executive chef John Williams MBE.
Meanwhile, it was a night to remember for former student Liam Goodwill, who is part of the team at newly-crowned Restaurant of the Year ‘Tresham’ at Rushton Hall.
Phil Martin, head of hospitality and catering at Northampton College, said: “These awards are always a night to celebrate the very best of Northamptonshire food and drink and it’s great to see so many of our former students among those nominated.
“Our current students did an incredible job, producing an immaculate service for 550 diners in what is certainly the biggest challenge of their young careers. They did themselves and the college proud.”
Northampton College was delighted to once again sponsor the Great Service award, celebrating those who go the extra mile to ensure customers have a first-class experience. This year’s runner-up was Nuovo in Northampton while the winner was Apothocoffee in Earls Barton.