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College teams up with The Pig for Pilgrims Hospice Fundraiser Lunch 

21 June 2024
Catering students work with The Pig's Head Chef Andy Feasby and Apprentice Chef Ronnie Needham to present a two-course lunch.

EKC Canterbury College’s Catering department, in collaboration with The Pig, a renowned local hotel and restaurant, has successfully raised £550 for Pilgrims Hospice. The fundraiser featured a cooking demonstration and two course lunch, created by Catering students with The Pig’s Head Chef Andy Feasby and Apprentice Chef Ronnie Needham, a former student of EKC Canterbury College. 

The event, organised by Industry Liaison Officer Abbie Kay, was inspired by a colleague’s battle with cancer. Abbie shared: “The lunch was a great success with divine food, lots of happy students, chefs, front of house team and, most importantly, customers! Seeing our students engage with industry professionals and apply their skills for such a meaningful cause was incredibly rewarding.” 

During the event, students were divided into various stations, including dessert, fish, meat, and pastry, and learned to prepare a two-course meal with additional ‘piggy bits’ from The Pig’s menu. All the ingredients were generously donated by Foodari, Arthur David, The Butcher of Brogdale, The Pig, and PH Fish Hastings, ensuring all ticket proceeds went directly to Pilgrims Hospice. 

Ronnie Needham, who is soon to complete his two-year apprenticeship at The Pig, relished the opportunity to return to College. Ronnie reflected on his experiences, stating: “My experience at EKC Canterbury College was eye-opening due to the amount of support I got with my dyslexia. It made me realise that dyslexia did not have to be a barrier to me doing anything. The College guided me on the path to finding my apprenticeship at The Pig and I’ve grown so much since then.” 

Currently working as an apprentice Chef de Partie, Ronnie added, “It’s been quite cool for me to come back to college and see some old faces who have helped me in the past. Helping to teach has also helped me develop my managerial skills for my apprenticeship. We’re highlighting what we do at The Pig and raising money for a great cause, which makes this experience even more rewarding.” 

Chef Andy Feasby praised the students, stating, “The students have done exceptionally well. They were eager to learn and try something different. It’s important for them to gain hands-on experience from industry professionals, and we hope to continue building their skills and aspirations through such events.” 

The lunch was hosted at Streetside, EKC Canterbury College’s on-site bistro, café and restaurant. Lucy Sutcliffe, Restaurant Supervisor at Streetside, was proud of how well the students did on the day, saying: “The Pig gave us the opportunity for them to do a cooking demo and we’ve turned it into a charity event. It has been a massive opportunity for both the front of house students and kitchen students to gain real-world experience while contributing to a noble cause. They’ve all done so well and have remained professional and calm throughout the day.” 

The event’s menu featured an array of delicious dishes, including herb mayo and veg sticks, crackling and apple sauce, and smoked mackerel pâté. Main courses included Swiss chard and chilli risotto with pumpkin seed pesto, chargrilled Brogdale pork loin with garden greens and wholegrain mustard sauce, and day-boat wild bass fillet with peas and lemon butter sauce. Desserts included gooseberry fool, The Pig’s shortbread, Hugh Lowe strawberry tart with sweet cicely cream, and a trio of Kentish cheeses with apple chutney and crackers. 

Ian Ashton, Catering Services Manager for Pilgrims Hospice, expressed his gratitude, saying, “It’s wonderful that the college, in partnership with The Pig, has organised this event, raising vital funds for Pilgrims Hospice to continue providing care to the community. The funds raised will go directly towards supporting our services.” 

Level 2 Catering Student Tilly reflected on the event, saying: “It’s a great thing we’ve done, raising money for Pilgrims Hospice. Working with professionals like Ronnie and Andy has been incredibly beneficial. We’ve learned so much from their expertise.”