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Stoke Damerel Community College

Top chef serves up some fabulous advice!


One of the country’s top chefs, Peter Gorton, has spent the afternoon at the College, showing our Year 11 and Year 13 students new skills and offering advice about careers in the catering industry.








Peter is a Master Chef of Great Britain, which means he is recognised as a leader in his field. He entered the industry in 1980, at the age of just 16 and worked at some of the best restaurants in the world before becoming the proprietor of the Horn of Plenty Country House near Tavistock, where he was awarded a coveted Michelin star and many other awards. Today, he works as a hospitality consultant. He is also a director of Food Drink Devon which represents a membership of food and drink producers, retailers and venues and champions the county’s food and drink sector.

We were therefore delighted to have him here at the College to talk to our students about his career and experiences, and to share invaluable advice. He also showcased a selection of different types of ingredients to explain how they can be used in cooking, and he offered tips on the presentation of dishes. Among the ingredients were quince, avocado, lemongrass, turmeric, micro-herbs, fennel, kohlrabi, and Jerusalem Artichokes.  He also showed how to use substitutes for ingredients if those ingredients are not available.

He even cooked up a chicken stir fry for our Year 13s, using some of the fruit and veg! A big ‘thank you’ to Tamar Fresh for supplying the ingredients for Peter’s sessions.

Peter said: “I am very keen to help the next generation of chefs and indeed all roles in the hospitality industry - we need them. There are so many opportunities in the food and drink sector in terms of the variety of roles, and so many different types of places where you can work.

“I was very impressed with the students, they asked loads of great questions about how I started my career and were enthusiastic to know about the hospitality industry. It was lovely to hear that some of the students are working in the industry already and want to continue their catering studies in the next stage of their education and training.”

The level 3 qualification, equivalent to an A level, that our students follow as one of their three subjects in the sixth form is Hospitality and Catering (Food Science and Nutrition).

Peter’s visit was organised by our careers team, Miss Trezona and Mrs Gannon. Miss Trezona said: “We were amazingly lucky to have Peter here. He is passionate about helping young people and his career advice was fantastic. The sixth form students heard about the different training and progression routes in the wider catering industry, and they were given an honest picture of the hospitality sector. Several of our students have jobs as kitchen porters and they were inspired to hear that Peter started off as a porter, too.”

Mr Tinkler added: “We would like to thank Peter for generously giving us his time and sharing his advice with our students. It is an invaluable experience for them to hear first-hand from professionals, especially those who are at the top of the profession.”

It is hoped that Peter can return in the New Year, to do some hands-on cooking sessions.

The College welcomes guest speakers from occupations across all industries and sectors. Please contact Miss Trezona at