Jo Gideon MP in ‘cake off’ challenge at opening of new pastry kitchen

On Friday 8th September, Jo Gideon MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central visited Stoke on Trent College to officially open a brand-new Pastry Kitchen at the Cauldon Campus.  Jo was joined by a group of students studying on the Professional Chef programme, along with staff from the College and a range of external partners, including representatives from Edge Design and Project Management and Unox.

Funding for the new facilities has been provided by the Savoy Educational Trust, an independent, grant-giving charitable trust.

Angela Maher, CEO of the Savoy Educational Trust said: “The main aim of the Savoy Educational Trust is the advancement and development of education and learning within the hospitality industry. Investment in state-of-the-art facilities is a fundamental contributor to the success of future hospitality professionals, so being able to support Stoke on Trent College with the development of its brand-new pastry kitchen is something we and the Board of Trustees felt was a very worthwhile project.

“This new facility will not only benefit current and future students but also those in the local community who wish to develop their skills in patisserie, so we’re delighted to help make this happen.”

The new facilities will enable the College to increase the range of specialist courses available, for both adults and young people.  Following consultation with a range of local hospitality businesses, skills gaps were identified in areas such as sugar craft, Pastillage, and Artisan bread making.

Steve Heaton, Section Leader for Hospitality and Catering is thrilled with the new pastry kitchen and said: “These fantastic new facilities are just like those found in the workplace and will enable our catering students to develop their skills and experience in this specialist area, to help to prepare them for future employment in the industry.

Andrea Sammons, from Enjoy Staffordshire, (Staffordshire’s Tourist Board) was also at the event. She spoke proudly about Staffordshire’s hospitality sector and said: “Developing skills and encouraging careers in the tourism industry is a key pillar of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s Visitor Economy Action Plan, so I was delighted to be invited to the opening of the College’s new pastry kitchen, and to meet the talented students who will be the future lifeblood of the area’s hospitality workforce. Pre-pandemic tourism contributed more than £1.8bn to the local economy and employed more than 32,000 people, making it the area’s fourth largest employment sector.

“Eating out is one of the most popular things for visitors to do, so it’s vital for these young people to develop their skills to ensure the hospitality and catering industry continues to thrive and provide wonderful experiences for our visitors.”

As part of the special event, Jo Gideon MP and Lisa Capper, MBE, Principal and CEO of Stoke on Trent College paired up with students to complete a ‘cake off’ decorating challenge. The competitive pair were tasked with decorating sunflower-themed cupcakes which added some practical fun to the afternoon.

Lisa Capper, MBE, Principal and CEO of Stoke on Trent College said: “We are really pleased to open these fantastic new facilities and would like to thank the Savoy Educational Trust for their support in making this happen. This pastry kitchen adds to our already impressive suite of specialist catering facilities – including a training kitchen and teaching restaurant.  Our links with industry partners continue to grow as we invest in the future of not only our College but in Stoke-on-Trent and the wider city region.”

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September 14, 2023 9:29 am