Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 14.13.10Students from a Middlesbrough academy have been finding out more about Michelin standard food this week and were also treated to lunch at the region’s highest-rated hotel.

Twenty students from the King’s Academy in Coulby Newham spent the morning at The Orangery at Rockliffe Hall with executive head chef, Richard Allen, who shared with them his advice on the hospitality industry as well as cooking them an alternative school lunch.

The event was part of a series launched by the 5* resort to work in the local community to encourage more young people to consider the industry as a career option and share with them the variety of opportunities available in their area.

Following a tour of Rockliffe Hall and a chance to meet some of the team, the year 8 pupils were then treated to a ‘school lunch’, prepared by Richard, using some of the ingredients that make up his Orangery menu. The school lunch included chicken in a wild mushroom sauce and chocolate mousse with strawberries and popping candy.

Richard and his team in The Orangery are inviting a number of local schools to the resort over the coming months to work with the local community to encourage young people to consider hospitality and catering as a career option and also to introduce them to more unusual dishes and ideas of how to grow certain foods in small spaces.

Richard Allen was appointed executive head chef of The Orangery in January and is one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs, having held a Michelin star from 2011-2014 and three AA Rosettes for eight years. He also has two of the highest industry accolades to his name- the Cateys’ Head Chef of the Year 2012 and the Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef of the Year 2012.

Since taking over as executive head chef of The Orangery, Richard has developed a new menu featuring a host of new dishes which make best use of seasonal and regional produce, as well as some from Rockliffe Hall’s 365 acre estate.

Richard said: “There is a very real shortage of young people seriously considering hospitality and catering as a profession so we’re keen to work with our local schools and colleges to show them the types of opportunities that are available.

“At Rockliffe Hall we are passionate about employing as many local people as possible and showcasing who we are and what we do to young people is an ideal way to do this.”

Barbara Wilberforce, head of food technology at the King’s Academy, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience lunch in an exclusive setting and prepared to a standard well above their everyday experiences.  Students will have the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by Rockliffe Hall’s team, seeing first-hand the range of opportunities at a top hotel.

“The hospitality industry is a valuable and growing sector of the economy offering a wide range of first class careers. Our students will gain a great deal from this visit whether they seek employment in the hospitality Industry or not as many of the skills used are highly transferable to other careers.”