[T]he Head Chef at one of the Lake District’s best-known hotels has been heading back to the classroom to help give budding chefs a taste of what it takes to make it in catering and hospitality.
Richard Booth, who has been overseeing the kitchen at Lakeside Hotel & Spa for well over a decade, has been mentoring two groups of local GCSE catering students to get them excited about food and experimenting with culinary techniques. Richard was one of the judges for Cumbria’s 2017 Young Chef of the Year competition. His wide-ranging CV also includes stints at Michelin-starred establishments such as Le Manoir and Paris House.
A key aim of the special sessions at Dowdales School in Dalton-in-Furness is to encourage new talent to help meet the long-term skills challenges facing the catering industry.
Students from Dowdales were asked to reproduce a variety of chicken dishes, following demonstrations from Richard. It comes hot on the heels of a ‘kitchen takeover’ event earlier this summer, where the aspiring chefs had a behind-the-scenes experience with the team at Lakeside Hotel & Spa.
Richard says, “Getting good staff in place is fundamental to the success of high-quality hotels and restaurants, and I want to do my bit to ensure we support the next generation of well-trained, passionate people who can make their mark on the industry. We need to keep the flow of new innovators not just for the immediate future, but for many years to come.”
Dowdales School Headteacher, Julie O’Connor, added; “Richard Booth came to school to lead two lessons with our Year 11 Food Preparation and Nutrition groups. Students learned how to debone a chicken and then how to utilise the different parts of the bird in different dishes. This session was a follow on from a students’ visit to The Lakeside Hotel & Spa and will help to build higher level skills, in preparation for the final 3-hour practical NEA exam.”
Richard has been at Lakeside Hotel & Spa since 2005 and currently oversees a team of 20 servicing the hotel’s two distinctly different restaurants; the fine dining Lake View restaurant and The Brasserie.