Talented students from Victoria College take over kitchens at The Atlantic Hotel

At lunchtime on Saturday 31 March eight budding chefs will be working hard in the kitchens of Ocean Restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel as they prepare and serve a specially designed menu to 50 very special guests to raise money for Autism Jersey.

Their work will be overseen by the hotel’s Executive Head Chef Mark Jordan and his kitchen brigade, as well as the restaurant’s award winning Head Sommelier, Sergio dos Santos, who will be working alongside them during the lunch to introduce the wines. However, it will be down to the lower sixth form students themselves to ensure that a mouth-watering lunch is served to, among others, Atlantic Hotel owners Patrick and Treena Burke, Victoria College Assistant Headmasters Alan Hamel, David Rotherham and Moira Taylor and, of course, the boys’ parents.

This is the first time that the hotel’s kitchens have been opened up in this way and Mr Burke said that he was looking forward to sampling the dishes produced by the students. He said:  “We are delighted to be hosting such a special event and to encourage young local talent to experience life behind the scenes in a luxury hotel. It is also a great opportunity to help the boys raise money for such a worthwhile charity as Autism Jersey.”

The lunch will be the culmination of six months of planning by the students, aged just 16 and 17 years old, who have dedicated their time over eight weekends to work with the hotel’s management team, learning about fish, pastry, sauces, bread-making, desserts and wines, not to mention how to set a restaurant table and plan an event.

The result is that on Saturday, they will be producing impressive dishes such as Risotto of Jersey Crab and Sweetcorn; Honey and Maple Roast Gressingham Duck Breast and Hot Chocolate Dariole with White Chocolate Ice Cream.

The opportunity to work in one of the best hotels in Jersey was presented to the students by English teacher Will Gorman. Having previously run a cooking class to teach students basic culinary skills, he got together with The Atlantic to offer an opportunity for the boys to learn about a professional kitchen, see how the hospitality industry works and ultimately to cater for a formal lunch.

He said: “The boys are so excited about this event, they talk about it all the time. So much so, in fact, that twelve teachers have decided to come along. I have been delighted to see how inspired the students have been and Mark and his team in the kitchen have been very welcoming. I will be dining on the day but I would love to be behind the scenes where the real action is!” 

The cost of the lunch is £50 per person including wines, and a raffle will be held afterwards, with fantastic prizes such as an iPhone4, iPad3 and an overnight stay with dinner at The Atlantic for two people. The students are hoping that all their hard work will raise over £3,000 for Autism Jersey.

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