Local business donates scholarship for West Somerset College’s hospitality student

Rosemary Overall and Tony O'Shaughnassy from The Culbone.  Photo by Steve Quantick

Rosemary Overall and Tony O’Shaughnassy from The Culbone.
Photo by Steve Quantick

Last week, West Somerset College’s hospitality student Rosemary Overall was presented with the inaugural The Culbone Scholarship for Hospitality Student of the Year.

Rosemary, who is in her last year at The Combe training restaurant in Minehead, was chosen for her commitment and keen interest, both in the kitchen and front of house.
A few months ago, Tony O’Shaughnassy, the owner of The Culbone on Porlock Hill, had contacted the The Combe to find a way to support outstanding students in the hospitality sector, to help develop young people in an industry which is so vital to Exmoor.  Finally, the idea for the scholarship was born, a suitable student found and the scholarship’s finer details developed.
“We think that the College’s hospitality course is outstanding. The food prepared by the students is amazing.  We see The Culbone as at the heart of the community, and helping young people excel is very close to our heart,” explained Tony. “Rosemary is a very worthy recipient of our scholarship, and we look forward to catching up with Rosemary in London in September.”
Tony presented Rosemary with a certificate in The Combe in the presence of Paul Gibbs, Acting Faculty Leader, and Werner Hartholt, Chef Lecturer.  The scholarship will take her to the London School for Wine and Spirits in September to do a two-week WSET Level 3 course.  It also covers travel, accommodation, pocket money and dinner with Somerset Life’s Food Editor, Susan Clark, in one of London’s top restaurants.

Paul Gibbs commented: “We are very grateful to The Culbone for their generous support for Rosemary.  Rosemary has impressed us with her dedication and hard work, both in the kitchen and front of house. This course will be of great benefit to her future career.”
The Combe students will join The Culbone team for a special event later this year.

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Werner Hartholz (Chef Lecturer), Paul Gibbs (Acting Faculty Leader), Rosemary Overall, Tony O’Shaughnassy (The Culbone)

Exmoor Food Fest has launched!

The Exmoor Food Fest was launched with great success on Wednesday, 28 January, at The Combe, the training restaurant at the Skills & Enterprise Centre (West Somerset College, Minehead) when Michelin star chefs Mark Dodson, Thomas Carr , Andrew Dixon and  Richard Boggie cooked an amazing five course dinner with the Combe’s hospitality students for invited guests.

Richard Boggie was in charge of the Amuse Bouche , Mackerel ceviche, wasabi and Exmoor Caviar, which set the tone for an amazing feast. The former Combe student who left the College two years ago, is now Chef de Partie at the renowned Bath Priory.

Mark Dodson, whose restaurant Masons Arms in Knowstone holds one Michelin star, followed with a starter of tuna on Chinese cabbage.   Thomas Carr,former headchef at Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant and now owner of The Olive Room in Ilfracombe, followed with Exmoor rump of beef, tongue and Jacobs ladder pie, 
 herb dumpling, ginger carrot and, for the vegetarian guests, truffle and potato terrine, crispy free range hens egg and 
 pickled mushroom dressing .

Guests were then treated to a pre-dessert by Richard Boggie, set Tonka bean cream, apple caramel and cider, followed by Andrew Dixon’s (The Cafe at Porlock Weir) apple tart tatin
.

“Great students, great food, great evening”, commented Mark Dodson on Twitter.

Hollie Borland, reporter for the Somerset County Gazette tweeted “What an amazing evening put on @The_Combe_Mhead by #WestSomCol students too for the #ExmoorFoodFest launch #poshnosh”.

Martin Hesp, editor-at-large for the Western Morning News, tweeted “Been to amazing launch of #ExmoorFoodFest tonight – thanks students of #WestSomersetCollege and chef tutors.”  This was seconded by Somerset Life editor Charlotte Skidmore who also tweeted “What amazing food at the launch of #ExmoorFoodFest”.

It was a brilliant experience for the hospitality students who all enjoyed working with these top chefs. One student tweeted to the chefs “Thank you for tonight in the kitchen. Amazing experience in there to watch what you all do!”

The Masons Arms, The Olive Room , The Cafe at Porlock Weir and The Combe all take part in the Exmoor Food Fest during February, offering the deal of 2 courses for £10.00/ 3 courses for £15.00.  Please check on their pages on what days this offer is available.

To see some of the photos Clayton Jane took at the launch, please pop over to exmoorfoodfest.com