The Castle Kitchen Meets the College

Head Chef, Liam Finnegan, joined the Hospitality and Catering students of Bridgwater and Taunton College last week for one last hurrah before The Quantock Restaurant closed for refurbishment.

“We’re getting new, state-of-the-art facilities that will hopefully increase both events and student numbers,” says Rebecca Tomlinson, Course Leader of Hospitality at the college.

Due to be completed in the next academic year, the new design will include modular, individual work stations for training students, and will be divided from the public seating area by a wall of glass, so visitors can enjoy observing students who are busy preparing their meals.

“It’s common nowadays to have an open kitchen,” says Rebecca, “and it’s good for the students as our guests are increasingly interested in what’s going on in the back of house.”

Liam  is also looking forward to seeing the end result in September. “Each year I do a night in the college. We’re all excited to see the new kitchen and front of house facilities.”

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He joined the students on their last night working in the kitchen before its renovation, and helped them prepare dishes such as chilled tomato gazpacho with cucumber, borage and basil, and roast Somerset lamb cutlet with chargrilled courgette, tomato fondue and port gravy.

“We’ve been working directly with Bridgwater and Taunton College for five years now, and our last two sous-chefs came through their ranks,” says Liam.

“We also have seven past and present students working with us in The Castle Hotel kitchen. It’s both fulfilling and rewarding to see them all doing so incredibly well. It’s just brilliant.”

The programme leaders also feel that Liam’s presence in the kitchen has a positive effect on their students.

“Liam is fantastic with the students and has such a good nature with them,” says Mark Stoyle, former Chef Lecturer at the college.

“With his combined enthusiasm and knowledge, the students come away from these events with an extremely positive attitude towards the industry.”

The new and improved Quantock Restaurant will reopen in September, and The Castle Hotel Head Chef Liam will be assisting with the launch dinner.

Below is an artist’s impression on what the new Quantock Restaurant will look like after refurbishments.



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