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Molecular gastronomy meets fine dining at Refined

Posted: 31 May 2019

Chemistry will merge with cookery next week at West Nottinghamshire College’s Refined fine dining restaurant, where students will be cooking up some unique flavours for diners.

(left to right) Dominic Smith, Colin Watson, Tamara Tomlinson and Deanna Burton
(left to right) Dominic Smith, Colin Watson, Tamara Tomlinson and Deanna Burton

The Derby Road-based restaurant has been the training ground for Level 3 Professional Cookery and Hospitality and Supervision students, and now it’s time for them to graduate from their studies in style.

Budding chefs Deanna Burton, 19, Tamara Tomlinson, 18, and Colin Watson, 60, will join fellow hospitality student Dominic Smith, 20, on Thursday 6 June to serve-up a menu with a twist.

As well as using fine fish, meat and vegetables within their seven-course menu, the group will be using chemicals to create a gin and tonic ‘caviar’ to go with the gin-cured salmon.

Colin said: “This is a rather grown-up menu with the gin in the salmon and whisky ice cream combined with rich flavours such as liquorice and coffee.

“We are also looking forward to being a bit scientific with our creation of gin-filled spheres, to represent mock caviar. A combination of sodium alginate dropped in the gin to make the spheres, combined with calcium lactate to form a skin will give diners bubbles of alcohol which will pop in the mouth.

“We wanted our special night to be a little bit different and create something that’s not the ‘norm’ on a menu.”

The group’s starter is a beetroot and goat’s cheese salad. The second course will be a choice of gin-cured salmon with ‘caviar’, compressed cucumber and lemon pureé or spring vegetable and pink grapefruit ceviche.

The main meat course, which Colin will be working on will be pork belly and cheek with caramelised potatoes, cabbage, carrot and apple. Diners can choose a seasonal summer vegetable open lasagne with basil and garlic velouté.    

Tamara, who currently works at The Gate Hotel in Langwith, has her hopes set on travelling within catering, possibly working on cruise ships. She will be concentrating her catering skills on the night on a pre-dessert of summer berry millefeuille followed by the coffee, chocolate and whisky and ginger dessert with a whisky ice cream and ginger crumb.

Deanna, who works in the kitchens at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, providing patient meals, will be supporting her chef colleagues in the kitchens on the night ensuring a smooth ‘pass’ and service. Deanna has hopes of working in a restaurant in the future and getting funds together to own a restaurant or pastry shop.

Dominic will be busy welcoming diners to the restaurant and serving up a list of celebratory cocktails, providing the top favourite drinks from previous dining events at the restaurant.

He said: “Since being on this course I’ve really improved and I’ve seen changes in my character. I used to be very shy with little confidence but I’ve worked on this as I’ve studied and met with members of the public.”

Meanwhile, Colin is hoping to apply for kitchen roles at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nottingham, where he recently spent a week on the Hotel Takeover initiative, which over 40 students at the college took part in, getting a taste for real-life roles in the catering and hospitality industry.

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