Nathan Outlaw opens new academy

Academy Nathan Outlaw at Cornwall College was launched at Trevenson Restaurant on the Camborne campus on 13th June, marking the start of a partnership which will see twice Michelin-starred chef Nathan, who runs establishments in Rock, taking an active role in training local students.

The partnership will see the highly experienced Catering & Hospitality team at Cornwall College joining forces with renowned chef Nathan Outlaw to deliver a new initiative that gives budding young chefs, restaurateurs and hospitality personnel the chance to study professional qualifications, with first-class training and tuition from Nathan himself, together with other leading industry experts and the College team.

Combining practical and theoretical workshops with industrial visits, high-profile work experience and master classes from industry experts, plus the chance to work in Nathan’s restaurants or kitchens, the new Academy aims to equip students with the skills and experience they need to become outstanding professionals in their field.

The first Academy courses will start at Camborne and St Austell campuses this September, with courses at Saltash starting the following year.

Speaking at the official launch event, Nathan said: “I’m immensely proud and excited to be part of something so special. Academy Nathan Outlaw is all about adding a little bit extra to something that is already very good, making sure the students get the most out of their education and hopefully creating chefs that are extremely talented, who will go on to be successful in the industry. This project is something that I’ve been really passionate about, ever since I started employing Cornwall College apprentices in 2004. Currently, seven out of the 10 chefs that work for me have studied with Cornwall College, so it felt really natural to work together on a project like this.”

The launch event, attended by a number of prominent South West-based chefs, local hoteliers and restaurateurs, saw the students from Camborne and St Austell campuses who are currently studying Level 3 catering courses, prepare a number of Nathan’s canapé recipes, which were served by Cornwall College Camborne’s current cohort of Professional Food and Beverage Service students.

Daniel Ballett, 18 from Truro and currently studying the Professional Cookery Diploma (Kitchen and Larder) VRQ Level 3 course at Cornwall College Camborne, helped prepare the canapés. He said: “Today has been great and a good opportunity to do some high end work. It’s been different from what we usually do and I’ve enjoyed working with someone who is already successful in the industry because it’s given me more of an insight of what it’ll be like when I qualify.”

Fellow student Hannah Rowe, 18 from St Stephen and studying the Professional Patisserie and Confectionery City & Guilds Diploma Level 3 at Cornwall College St Austell, added: “It’s been a really good experience and I’ve learnt a lot from it. I plan to enrol on the VRQ Level 3 course with the Academy next year because I think it’s a great scheme and it’ll give me even more great experience. I think it’ll also make people realise how much work goes into becoming a chef.”

Nathan commented: “The canapés today were great; the students worked with recipes they’d not used before and I thought they did an excellent job as the canapés tasted and looked fantastic. I didn’t physically get involved much, so it just goes to show the level of talent that’s already there!”

Paul Ainsworth, owner of the highly revered Number 6 restaurant in Padstow who also competed against Nathan in BBC2’s Great British Menu competition recently, attended the event. He said: “This is a fantastic venture and supporting education is important and why we’re here today. It’s the future and I’m a big supporter already as I work quite closely with Fifteen and employ their chefs, so I’ll happily do the same with Academy Nathan Outlaw.”

Nathan added: “The support I’ve had from my peers has been fantastic. Over 10 of the top chefs based in the South West came to the launch and offered their support for the Academy, through work experience placement offers and contacts for suppliers who might help. I think they can really see the benefits to be had from something like this and my example has shown how working with apprentices can be a successful way of running your business, so I think they want to be a part of that.”

Following the official speeches, guests also had the opportunity to tour the catering facilities at the Camborne campus and watch a short demonstration given by Nathan, where he prepared a summer vegetable nage, one of the dishes from his new book which incorporates seasonal vegetables with scallops, mackerel and poached oysters in a broth.

Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “This has been a fantastic event, and we are really proud to be working with Nathan Outlaw on such a high-profile project as the Academy, which will not only have a huge impact on the catering and hospitality industry in Cornwall, but will have far-reaching benefits for the industry as a whole. I am sure that Academy Nathan Outlaw will be a huge success and will help nurture and inspire some already talented young people in the early stages of their careers.”