Onlincolnshire helped budding chefs at Boston College to have their first taste of the world of professional cooking with a Gordon Ramsay-style cook-along using video conferencing.
Trainee students at Boston College’s Hospitality and Catering Department were given a private cookery lesson by top head chefs from Reform at The Castle Hotel in Lincoln and The Electric Bar and Restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln.
Onlincolnshire helped set up a two-way Skype video feed on September 23 for the cookery lesson as a way to demonstrate the possibilities superfast broadband offers.
Mark Cheseldine from Reform and Phil Henson from The Electric Bar and Restaurant were based at Lincoln College and used the live two-way TV link to offer tips and hints and critique the students’ techniques as they prepared dishes made using Select Lincolnshire produce. A judging panel in Boston scored each student on their efforts.
Details of the event were live-tweeted as it happened using the hashtag #cookdigital. Pictures were also posted on the onlincolnshire Facebook page by social media expert Glenn Le Santo. The cook-along was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Budding chef Georgia Claxton, 18, from Long Sutton won the event and will now spend a day working in both restaurants. “I’m really pleased to have won,” she said. “It was quite a nerve-wracking thing to do but I’m delighted to have done so well.
“The main course was the kind of thing that we’ve done at college before so it wasn’t completely new to us. It was really helpful to have Phil and Mark on the screen showing us what to do.
“I’m really looking forward to working in the restaurants; it should be a great experience getting a day of cooking in two professional kitchens.”
Steve Cottrell, Programme Area Manager for Catering and Hospitality at Boston College, said: “This has been an amazing and worthwhile event for everyone concerned, especially for the students, who were very professional and coped with the pressures well.
“The technology proved to be very effective and enabled great communication between Lincoln College and Boston College. The event was a brilliant experience for the students and a great springboard into work experience and jobs within the industry.
Part of the onlincolnshire project has been to engage with digital businesses and champion the work done by creative companies in the county. For the cook-along, Bright Spark Studios oversaw the Skype streaming, including project management using a vision mixer and streaming computer.
Peachy Events Services provided AV support at both sites with the microphones and plasma screens, while Electric Egg were brought in as camera crews at both sites. Epix Media has also been involved and will produce a timelapse video of the event at Boston.
Judging the meal – roast loin of pork with butternut squash textures – were Amanda Mosek, Principal of Boston College, Lydia Rusling from Lincolnshire County Council, and Jez Ashberry from Shooting Star PR.
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This was the perfect way for us to show the different ways that people – especially learning establishments – can make use of the Internet. We had a great team of professionals to help make this a reality. It was hugely successful and I think will go a long way to opening the doors for other colleges, schools and universities.”
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