£4m rebirth for our training kitchens

Posted: March 22, 2024

The Lord Mayor has opened our world-class new training kitchens.

The facilities at Printworks Campus were created thanks to a £4m investment and collaboration with industry partners after the previous kitchens were destroyed, by fire, in December 2022.

Some of the region’s top chefs and restaurant owners joined the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite, to see the results for themselves at the official launch on Wednesday 6 March.

Head of Travel, Food and Drink Donna Feeny showed the guests around what she hailed as ‘an amazing show kitchen’.

Praise for our ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities

Councillor Garthwaite said it was inspiring to see how impressively the college had recovered from its setback. Cutting the ceremonial ribbon, she added that it was ‘an honour and a privilege’ to declare ‘these amazing, state-of-the-art kitchens’ officially open.

The kitchens are being sponsored by Rational Kitchens, which the college has entered into a two year partnership with – and the company has declared the Leeds facility its Centre of Excellence for the UK.

The arrangement means Rational will be able to use the kitchens once or twice a month to help with training, and two of its experienced professionals, chef Neil McKay and regional manager Allan Brook, led cookery demonstrations on the day.

A group of students from our Culinary Skills diploma course also ran their own demonstration, and served guests a selection of small savoury dishes.

A platform to excel

Printworks Principal, Lee Pryor said: “I am proud that we have bounced back so quickly from adversity to create some really world-class catering facilities – no other college has anything like this.

“The kitchens will really help our students excel and become the skilled cooks, bakers and hospitality professionals that our region and economy needs to prosper.

“We have been delighted to show them off to so many visiting representatives from the region’s food and drink industry, the Lord Mayor and our other guests.”

Ms Feeny added: “To see our training kitchen area reborn like this, as a truly amazing, class-leading facility that will be such an asset to both our students and our partner organisations, is fantastic.

“The past 12 months or so have been challenging but, after the initial shock, we looked at the opportunity of having a blank slate to create something really special. Thanks to our amazing team and partners that’s what we now have, and it means our students will get to use some of the best equipment in the world.

“This launch was a great day for everyone involved to celebrate that.”

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