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Royal approval for college catering

SUNDERLAND College students have served up food fit for a king – or even a prince – as part of a software event attended by HRH The Duke of York.

Ten students, who are studying at Sunderland College’s City Campus for qualifications in hospitality and catering, helped prepare and serve stunning lunch for some of the region’s brightest business brains, as part of Pitch@Palace, the Duke of York-led initiative to back entrepreneurial ideas.

The students served up dishes including smoked salmon rillet, lamb koftas, ham hock terrine and Israeli cous cous to businesses in attendance and the royal entourage, who visited Sunderland Software Centre on Wednesday [January 18].

The students – aged between 16-18 – were supported by the college’s Curriculum Leader for Hospitality, Tourism and Engagement, Rob Stewart, who helped design the menu and keep the students’ nerves at bay.

He said: “This really was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students, and they did us proud with their cookery and their service.

“Professional chefs can only dream of preparing food for an occasion attended by royalty, so this is an incredible coup for our students, and something utterly brilliant to put on their CV.  It was a great pleasure to be part of the day and I hope that The Duke was as impressed by our catering as he was of the fantastic technology and innovation on show on the day.”

The event saw 14 North East businesses showcase their innovations and ideas to an invited panel of judges, with shortlisted businesses progressing to a boot-camp after this stage of the competition.  Finalists will then have the opportunity to network and pitch at the main Pitch@Palace event, held at St James’s Palace in April.

Billy Webber, chief operating officer at Sunderland Software City, the organisation enabling the growth of the technology sector in the North East, said: “Pitch@Palace is a hugely prestigious event, and is a fantastic celebration of the tech talent we have in the region.

“The college students were able to show that our talent goes beyond just technology though, and it was wonderful to create an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities to such a high-profile audience.  We’d like to thank the college and the students who supported with the event – they did a fantastic job.”

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