Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Trainee chefs enjoy Tuscany work placements

Students from Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Menai honed their skills in restaurants, cafés and hotels in Montecatini and Pistoia

Trainee chefs from Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Menai went to Italy for two weeks of work experience.

Level 1, 2 and 3 Professional Cookery learners travelled to Tuscany to work in restaurants, cafés and hotels in Montecatini and Pistoia.

The students prepared and cooked food for high-end dining, learned about sourcing ingredients and enjoyed opportunities to sample the local cuisine.

They were all assigned to different establishments either in Montecatini, where they were based, or in the nearby city of Pistoia.

Students worked a variety of different shifts over the fortnight, with two days off each week, when they enjoyed cultural visits to Florence, Pisa and Lucca.

Erin Price, who is studying Level 2 Professional Cookery at Coleg Llandrillo, said: “I really loved it. Italian food is a lot different to what I expected. Our Italian food is very anglicised, but it tastes a lot better in Italy!

“They have unique dishes that we’ve never heard of here, and they’re delicious so I’m glad I got to try them. I’d love the opportunity to do something like that again.”

Isaac Williams, who is on the same course as Erin, said: “It’s probably the best experience I’ve had this year.

“I’ve been working in a restaurant for two years but working there was so much more rewarding.

“It was nice doing large numbers, doing breakfast for 150-200 people in a hotel, it was a great experience to have.

“I’m from the US and I find a lot of the food in the UK is over-complicated, there’s too much going into it. I learned that in Italy it’s all about simplicity - it’s a lot less technique-based and more about flavour.”

Isaac is in his second year at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus, and has been delighted with the opportunities and facilities the college has to offer.

“I didn’t know when I applied for this course the amount of opportunities I’d be given,” he said. “This has well exceeded my expectations, and this trip was well worth it.”

The work experience placements were organised by IMY (Italy Mobility). Students had to apply by submitting a CV and a letter stating what they wanted to learn and what they could bring to the placement.

As well as Erin and Isaac, the successful students were Emily Newington, Connor Parry, Callum Hagan, Adam Miller, Joshua Hughes, Grace Ware and Kieran Saturley from Coleg Llandrillo, and Jac Roberts, Gracie Pritchard-Vize, Keira Jones and Ethan Pengelly from Coleg Menai.

After they returned to college, the students were presented with certificates for successfully completing their placements.

Want to study Hospitality and Catering with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai? Click here to find out more about our courses.