St Albans chef goes back to college to run dining session

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 May 2018

The group of student chefs at Oaklands College with Harry Lumsdon (middle of back row).

The group of student chefs at Oaklands College with Harry Lumsdon (middle of back row).

Archant

A St Albans chef took over the campus restaurant at his former college alongside a team of culinary students.

Food served at the dining service at Oaklands College.Food served at the dining service at Oaklands College.

Harry Lumsdon, 23, graduated from Oaklands College in 2013 with a Hospitality Catering qualification and has since worked in a string of St Albans restaurants.

He recently returned to college restaurant The Stables to oversee a team of young chefs for one of the campus’s regular Thursday night dining sessions.

He created a menu which was designed to both impress diners and test the students on a range of culinary disciplines, and spent two days at the St Albans campus to get acquainted with the team and teach them the techniques they would need.

The three-course menu included smoked chicken ravioli, chicken cracking and tarragon jus, Gressingham duck breast served with spinach tortellini, confit leg croustillant and brambles, and mango and passion fruit entrements with mango sorbet. The students, all studying various levels of experience, were tasked with food preparation, kitchen delivery and front of house service.
Speaking about his time at the college, Harry said: “They gave that extra support to really get the best out of me when I was just starting out. They appreciated the skills and experience I was getting inside the industry and always pushed me to do better.”

Food served at the dining service at Oaklands College.Food served at the dining service at Oaklands College.

Harry has amassed eight years of experience in the culinary industry, and won the National Young Chef of the Year Competition from Great British Chefs in 2016.

He initially worked at St Michael’s Manor and Auberge Du Lac at Brocket Hall, before stepping into his first head chef role at The Great Northern in St Albans, where the restaurant won an award for ‘best everyday dining’ at the St Albans Food and Drink Awards. He currently works at Dylan’s The King Arms restaurant in George Street, and will soon relocate to Essex for his next venture.

Harry said: “An evening service like this a great opportunity to put the skills from your college course into practice. I see my younger self in a few of the team here tonight – it should be the spark that now drives them to get out into industry to put these skills to the test.

“For life as a chef you need drive and tenacity – the hours are long and you have to keep pushing yourself.”

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