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A new training restaurant and cookery courses launching next month are the flagship developments of a wider educational outreach programme by Lews Castle College UHI.

With January 2022 just days away, the college is unveiling a huge range of evening classes and flexible courses to support the local community.

Raising the curtain on what is on offer at the campus is a major new development and investment in the college’s long-standing reputation for culinary excellence.

The initiative - part of a long-term development project at Lews Castle College - follows months of working closely with Cala Hotels to address the growing needs of the local hospitality sector.

The result of this collaboration is a raft of training opportunities kicking off in January. These are aimed at people from all walks of life, be they employed within hospitality, hoping to gain employment in the sector in future, or wishing to up their skills in the kitchen at home.

“We are aware of the need to support local business, and in doing so the wider islands’ economy, by developing training opportunities for young people seeking to make a career in professional cookery,” says Head of Department, Michael Smith.

“Our NPA and NC courses have also attracted numerous adult returners, too, seeking to develop their skills in the professional cookery area to access a wide range of job opportunities locally.”

He continues: “A training restaurant is our planned next step to extend the range of new hospitality courses we can offer. This too will seek to train up students for future and existing employment opportunities in local businesses and so be a means to support the wider islands’ economy.”

The only thing that isn’t quite ready is the restaurant’s name. But a social media campaign is now underway to garner suggestions from the public.

The college kicked off the naming campaign on December 15 with a live Christmas cook along with Development Chef James Mackenzie. If you missed the live stream, a recording of the event is still available on the Lews Castle College Facebook page.

The yummy cook along was a taster for anyone interested in perfecting their skills in the kitchen. 

Led by James, formerly Chef and owner of the acclaimed Digby Chicks on Stornoway’s Bank Street, the live event was an ideal introduction to the evening cooking course he will be running shortly. 

The course is a rare opportunity to work with an expert chef and develop skills in the art of making desserts, baking, and pastries.

The evening class will cover the full spectrum of sweet-making, from basic pastry work to more elaborate desserts. The course will also include presentation tips and the use of seasonal ingredients in a wide range of contemporary and classic recipes.

The evening class is a companion course to Lews Castle College’s other highly-rated Food and Drink courses, such as their National Progression Award “Intro to Professional Cookery” and their National Certificate-accredited “Professional Cookery” course.

However, if cooking is not your thing, there is a huge range of other evening classes and flexible courses to choose from, all of which start in January.

So if you wish to get your 2022 off to a fresh start, check out the available courses and get in touch with the college for further information.

 To learn more about the college’s certificated cooking courses, go to:https://www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/subjects/food--drink/courses.

To find out more about evening classes and flexible courses, go to:

https://www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/courses/