STUDENTS are turning up the heat as they prepare a special menu under the watchful eye of a family of catering experts.

Guest chefs Jacob and Nathan Pattison will be joined by their brothers, restaurant manager at the Crathorne Arms Aaron and sous chef at The Clubhouse, Rockliffe Hall, and current Young North East Chef of the Year Keanan, as they stage an evening of culinary delight at Darlington College’s Glasshouse Restaurant.

The brothers are fast building a reputation for their food skills after a chance meeting some years back on a building site where they talked to celebrated chef Kenny Atkinson.

“We were renovating Kenny’s house in Hurworth when he asked what we enjoyed doing,” recalled Jacob. “I said I loved cooking and he offered me a job to learn the trade. All my brothers then followed suit and worked their way up from pot washers and cleaners to where they are today.”

The Pattinsons have spent weeks working with students from Darlington, County Durham and North Yorkshire on a menu for the special evening in the Glasshouse, which is due to be staged on April 4 from 6pm.

Final touches are being made to the menu which will include French onion soup, cheese soufflé, chorizo new potato salad, duck breast Asian-style, lamb wellington, pork belly, langoustine and, for dessert, pina colada, chocolate popcorn, sticky toffee pudding and rhubarb and custard.

Consultant chef Jacob and chef Nathan spent the day with students perfecting the scallop, apple and pancetta dish, watching them prep, cook and plate the course, before critiquing it and making final alterations before the big night.

Jacob said: “It is great to be working with my brothers to help this pool of young talent develop their skills and own styles. We have introduced an element of healthy competition so we will choose the best students to cook on the night while the others will work front of house.”

Darlington College tutor Dawn Cobb-Neate said: “We are delighted to welcome the chefs to the college to inspire our students in their cooking and show the incredible array of opportunities that exist within catering.

“They have been experimenting with the menu which is really exciting and I am sure it will go down a treat with the public.”

Anyone wanting to book a table should phone (01325) 503050. For more information on opportunities at Darlington College visit www.darlington.ac.uk.