Catering students visit Le Mans and cater for major event

Canterbury College catering students visited world famous car race, Le Mans, to cater for hundreds of hungry spectators and race participants.

The 24-hour sports car race is the world's oldest competition in endurance racing, held annually in the French town.

12 students cooked for 650 campers and 50 crew members for five days at the Travel Destinations camp at Porshe Curves. At their busiest time, they cooked 1,750 rashers of bacon and nearly 300 eggs over five hours in searing 40-degree heat.

Jordan Polhill said: “It was a good experience and I met so many nice people. It was a different environment and a different kitchen to what I’m used to at the College. We had to cook at for a huge amount of people and experienced challenging conditions such as changing weather.’

Kamil Sadkiewicz said: ‘I learnt a lot about the importance of organisational skills and timekeeping when cooking for that many people. It was an unforgettable experience; I enjoyed meeting people and working with new equipment that challenged my thinking.’

Maggie Barham said: ‘It was a tough experience with very early mornings and late nights, but it was great. We had to work eight-hour shifts, but I learnt many new skills, such as adapting to a different kitchen and being aware of your space when preparing food. It was good to work as part of a team in a professional setting.’

Maggie Barham’s hard work was highly commended by the chefs. Hospitality & Catering tutor Sally Romagnosi said: “You could visibly see her confidence grow, and as well as rising early and staying late to do her shift she also helped the other shifts when they were most busy. She made a great impression on the camp’s managers. It was clear to see the students gaining confidence from this trip. Every year there are the strong students who rise to the challenge. They all did an amazing job and I am proud of them all.”

The department have already been invited to next year’s 24 hour Le Mans race to cater for the campsite.