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Students at St Katherine’s School in Pill will be showing off their cooking skills at a special open evening at the Leaf – the school’s purpose-built restaurant – on Thursday February 28.

Held in conjunction with Bristol catering entrepreneurs Whisk!, the ‘pop up restaurant’ evening is aimed at reinforcing the school’s connections with the wider catering industry and is open to the public.

St Katherine’s Chef tutor Oliver Hunter is hoping parents and guests will put the students’ skills to the test at the restaurant event at the end of the month.

He said: “We want to further improve our food culture and involve the school and surrounding community while strengthening our catering and industry led vocational training for GCSE in hospitality, as well as the apprenticeship diploma.”

The 50-cover leaf restaurant is open on Thursdays as well as for private evenings and is exclusively staffed by hospitality students.

Bristol-based Whisk! has already launched two cafés in South Bristol, one at Knowle West Health Park and the second, the Atrium, at Arnos Vale Cemetery.

Steven Newman, a St Katherine’s catering and hospitality student, is currently an apprentice on the professional diploma course. He joined Whisk! last year as part of the team’s expansion programme and will be central to the kitchen team at the event.

Whisk! co-director Mike Merelie said he hoped Steven’s experience would inspire more students to pursue a career in the catering industry.

He said: “We always planned to take on an apprentice as we know just how important training and mentorship are to young people starting out.”

Whisk! has gone from a two-strong business operating from a cramped kitchen in Horfield to employing two full and six part time staff.

Mike said: “By helping run the pop-up restaurant at the school we will help bridge the gap between the educational experience and the wider catering and hospitality industry.

“One thing we are keen to stress is that we’re not just providing minimum wage apron and broom jobs – we will be identifying the many genuine opportunities for young people looking to make a career in food and catering.”

Mike said Whisk! was determined to maintain momentum by opening new outlets as well as re-doubling its corporate catering operation across the West – all based from the team’s Knowle West ‘hub’ kitchens.

He said: “Whisk! is about to celebrate its third anniversary and we are really pleased with how far we’ve come in that time. We always wanted to work more closely with schools and colleges as we love the industry but we know that the transition from education to employment isn’t always easy.

“Hopefully, Steven’s presence at the pop-up restaurant event at the end of the month will help inspire the students to think about a career in catering and help shape their decisions when selecting their examination options.”

To book tickets for the pop-up restaurant event, which are just £15 a head, contact the school reception on 01275 373 737.
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