bite club logo

Would you be interested in starting up a Food Society?


bite club logo

We are hoping to set up a student society for Food students. It would be great to bring together our enthusiasm for food and drink.

Would you be interested in taking a lead role?  The society will need: students to run it (looks great on the CV), as well as ideas for things to do. The society could organise visits to ‘foodie’ events, run bake off competitions, bring in guest speakers, the list is endless!

In the first instance, get your creative minds buzzing for a name for the society or club. My suggestion is ‘Bite Club’, but I’m sure you can do better. Joe Husband won a £20 Amazon voucher for naming our student newsletter ‘Food for Thought’. You could name the new society and win something, too!

Remember… the first rule of Bite Club is do talk about Bite Club!


Jayne Storer 

Cake International

Cake International 2014

Cake International

As a group, we visited Cake International  at Event City, Manchester. We all had a fabulous time experiencing lots of tutorials throughout the show and bought a host of cake decorating related products and devices to help us practise at home. Witnessing rows and rows of decorated cakes has given us lots of inspiration for future cake and bakes.

We were lucky enough to meet the baking queen herself Mary Berry, along with inspiring professional cake decorators Lindy Smith and Mich Turner. The opportunity to sample a range of sweet treats at the exhibitor stands and share the day with group of friends passionate about cake decorating made the day all the more enjoyable. 

Elysha Emberson, Level 2 Bakery


Preferred Jane Gilman, Andrea Winkler, Katharina Vogt, Laura Broome and Penny Masters

International recognition for Reaseheath College’s Food Centre

Preferred Jane Gilman, Andrea Winkler, Katharina Vogt, Laura Broome and Penny Masters

Reaseheath College’s Food Centre has become the first and only educational institution in Britain to achieve an internationally recognised British Retail Consortium (BRC) certification. The £7million Food Centre, which is on the Nantwich, Cheshire, college’s campus, has been awarded a Grade A BRC, the highest possible quality mark within the food industry’s global standard for food safety.

The unique certification was approved after a robust two day audit showed that the department’s food manufacturing systems were operating under highly controlled conditions and to the highest industry standards. Areas inspected included hygiene procedures, cleanliness of the facility, food safety controls, quality systems and the traceability of food ingredients.

The accolade is particularly prestigious as many food businesses strive, but never achieve, the elusive BRC standard at Grade A. The successful bid was led by Reaseheath Technical Manager Katharina Vogt.  Food Centre Head Toni-Anne Harrison said: “This was a tremendous achievement, gained through hard work and dedication and by an understanding of how these procedures and practices underpin everything that we do in the Food Centre.

“I am extremely proud to head up such a fantastic team, where individuals from both the commercial and educational worlds work so tirelessly together to move the department forwards.Our students are now fully immersed in industry standards and practices, and understand the value that is placed on ensuring these standards are both maintained and continuously moved forwards.

“This certification will lead to increased exposure to  blue chip companies, many of which are already clients and partners, and this will create enormous opportunities for our students. It will also further strengthen Reaseheath College’s reputation for being at the forefront of teaching and learning within the food sector.”

Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David added : “This has been a tremendous achievement, as only the very best companies achieve BRC Grade A status. This certification proves that our Food Centre has a deep understanding of the industry it serves. It will bring the department tremendous credence and will heighten our standing within the food industry.”

Reaseheath’s Food Centre was opened in 2011 and is one of the best equipped food processing teaching and practical facilities in Europe. Built to the exacting standards required by industry and staffed by a team of specialist food technologists, the facilities include dairy processing halls and production areas for butchery, bakery and confectionery. Many local, national and international food and drink manufacturers use the bespoke food halls for new product development or staff training.

For further details see: or contact (training enquiries) Julie Bent E:

Grant Richards visit to morrisons smaller

Morrisons meat processing plant

Grant Richards visit to morrisons smaller

On the 6th March, I travelled down to a Morrison’s meat processing plant at Spalding, Lincolnshire, with a former butcher – Simon Lynes Hoyland. With many years experience in the meat industry; he was the ideal man to go with. The start to the day was an early one, leaving the house at 5:00am. Having arrived at the processing plant, built in 2006, it was clear to see the mass scale of meat production that happened there. It produces only fresh, British meat and some 40% of Morrison’s meat will be produced at the plant in Spalding. The plant has a base of 700 farmers that supply to them, 100 of these farmers are actually situated in Spalding itself. 

We started with beef production; from slaughter to de-boning and packing, ready for sale. 60 cattle per hour were slaughtered there and it takes 14 minutes for them to have them ready for de-boning and portioning. Next we moved onto pork slaughter; these were done at 400 per hour, visibly it was faster and only took around 5 minutes from slaughter ready for de-boning. From the day it was clear that it was a slick, smooth operation and everyone was extremely well trained and knew exactly what to do.

Although the day was an early start, it gave me a great insight into what goes on at a meat processing plant on a mass scale.  I would like to thank the food department for the opportunity to go and see mass-scale butchery in action. 

Grant Richards, Level 3 Food Technology and Management

BBC Radio 2 logo - issue 3

Toni-Anne Harrison is featured on the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show

BBC Radio 2 logo - issue 3

On March 12th this year I was fortunate (some would say) to be exposed to  a live 3 minute interview with non-other than the God of Radio himself, Mr Chris Evans.

Ton-Anne Harrison_DSC4546-2

Primed with information on milk composition, module content and student profile, I was asked nothing of what I had so diligently prepared for the night before; indeed Chris decided to focus his efforts on the assessment methods used in ascertaining students success within the EDEN programme.

Whilst the banter was light hearted, the message is somewhat more serious – EDEN like all of our programmes within the department, is fundamental to ensuring that students entering the food industry are both equipped with the necessary knowledge however also that their practical competence is of a level that shows excellence in learning.

As students you are in a unique position of knowing that the job market which you are entering, post completion of studies, is both buoyant as well as diverse and appealing, growing year on year like no other sector.  My advice to you all, absorb like a sponge – for the cream will always rise to the top in this industry.


leeks 3

Seasonal Food in March


leeks 3

The 1st March saw St David’s Day, and leeks are one of the national symbols of Wales. March is the end of the leek season, try them pan fried or in casseroles and soups.

Simnel CakeMackerel are at their best in March, they’re a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids – so it’s tasty and good for you.  Try to buy line caught mackerel, which is more sustainable.

The Fourth Sunday in Lent 2014 is Laetare Sunday or Mothering Sunday, which this year falls on March 30, 2014.   On this day Christians relax the strict rules of lent and  is eaten.  Traditionally eleven marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas.

There’s several explanations about where the word Simnel comes from.  My favourite explanation is that old couple, called Simon and Nelly, argued about what to do with a piece of dough. Simon wanted to boil it, and Nelly to bake it, so they compromised and did both! The cake of Simon and Nelly was called Sim-Nel, or Simnel!  There’s regional variations of this cake including Devizes, Gloucester, Shrewsbury and Bury versions, see here for more information.


Web Links

Have a look on the web for more ideas:

Bill Pearson