cub scouts Aaliyah Wilson, Henry duncan, hannah Evans, Brodie Evans and George Duncan

Cake puts the icing on cub scouts centenary celebrations

Cub and beaver scouts from the Ist South West Cheshire District celebrated the group’s 100th birthday with a special cake made by our very own  bakery students.

The celebration was doubly special because this year is both the centenary of the Crewe based group, which is one of the oldest in the country, and of the cub scout movement nationwide.

1st South West Cheshire District beaver Henry Duncan (6), and cub scouts George Duncan (9), Brodie Evans (7), Aaliyah Wilson (8) and Hannah Evans (9) receive the cake from Reaseheath head of Food Nick Blakemore, Sam Copeland and students Katie Brittleton, Susan Thomas and Hayley Clibborn

1st South West Cheshire District beaver Henry Duncan (6), and cub scouts George Duncan (9), Brodie Evans (7), Aaliyah Wilson (8) and Hannah Evans (9) receive the cake from Reaseheath head of Food Nick Blakemore, Sam Copeland and students Katie Brittleton, Susan Thomas and Hayley Clibborn

Members and their families were joined by key officials of the movement at a party last weekend at a scout camp at Linnet Clough in Marple near Stockport. The four tier cake, decorated with scouting themes including a tent, campfire, neckerchief, map and badges, provided the centrepiece for the party feast.

Twenty Level 3 Diploma in Professional Bakery students developed the design and produced the cake after a request from Reaseheath Food Technologist Jenny Newall, who is an Assistant Cub Scout Leader of the group.

Said Lecturer and Course Manager Sam Copeland: “I’m extremely proud of the way my students worked as a team and rose to the challenge. Developing a four tier cake to professional standards in nine hours is no mean feat.”

The Ist South West Cheshire group meets weekly in the scout hall in Bedford Street, Crewe, and has a membership of 31 cub scouts, 24 beavers and over 40 scouts.

Tim Owen, also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader, added: “The cake was very impressive and provided the final touch to what was a very enjoyable celebration of 100 years of cub scouting in Crewe.”

Gregg Wallace and Derek Allen

Do you want to eat well for less?



Did you see Senior Dairy Technologist Derek Allen on BBC One’s new foodie programme, Eat Well For Less? 

Presenter Gregg Wallace joined Derek in our industry standard food halls to watch the process of yoghurt production and to discuss the ingredients which go into the family favourite.

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Senior Dairy Technologist Derek Allen accompanied by Gregg Wallace

Gregg went on to visit the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd to see where our milk came from and also met some of out farm staff and students.

If you missed the episode, you can catch up on BBC iplayer here.


reaseheath food centre

Latest courses from Reaseheath Food Centre!

With September  just around the corner, here’s the latest courses on offer in our BRC grade A accredited Food Centre!

Food Courses - Sept 2014









For more information on any of the courses, contact Julie Bent – Training and Communications Co-ordinator 01270 613191 or email:



Aaron Dixon Jordan Slawinski and Cedric Mandaya with celebrity chef James Martin LIGHTER

A great day at Nantwich Show 2014

Aaron Dixon Jordan Slawinski and Cedric Mandaya with celebrity chef James Martin LIGHTER

We had a great time at the Nantwich Show on Wednesday. It was good to meet up with so many industry partners and current and ex students at our local show. Our stand which was awarded second in the Trade Stand Competition and was really busy with visitors.

Three of our Bakery and Patisserie students had a great experience assisting celebrity chefs James Martin, Will Holland, Jonathan Harrison and Sean Wilson during their cooking demonstrations. Cedric Mandaya and Jordan Slawinski have just finished their Level 3 course and are off to find jobs while Aaron Dixon is moving onto Level 3 from Level 2 in September.

Here they are with James Martin.

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Eden students’ cheese triumphs at Nantwich Show 2014


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Fantastic results for our second year Dairy Technology (Eden) students at the International Cheese Awards held at Nantwich Show 2014. Our students produced two award winning cheeses:

Speciality Cheese Maker Category – SILVER for the ‘Derby’

Food Technologists Andrea Winkler, Jane Gilman and Penny Masters with our award winning cheeses

Food Technologists Andrea Winkler, Jane Gilman and Penny Masters with our award winning cheeses

Novice Cheese Maker Category – BRONZE for the ‘Coloured Cheshire’

This was a great accolade for our students, as this show is truly the best of the best, with 4,400 cheeses entered from 23 countries! Staff from our Food Centre stewarded for the judges.


Reaseheath Farm Centre

Reaseheath Food Centre – taking stock 2013-2014!

Reaseheath Farm Centre

As we draw to the close of what has been a very successful year in the food department, it is important to take stock and reflect on some  key achievements:

BRC 6 Grade A – what an outstanding accolade  for industry to achieve, let alone a college!

Bakery – We now have a fantastic bakery facility, with the standard of student work having been truly exceptional this year.

Butchery – Douglas Ewen joined us in November with a view to heading up the highly anticipated Level 2 Diploma in Professional Butchery.  Douglas has taught across the food department this year, introducing students to the rigors of life within the meat sector.  We hope that the new course will provide a platform for those students who want to ‘multi-skill’ within bakery and butchery, as well as those for whom specialism is key.  Douglas was also successful in entering a group of students in the Britain’s Best Burger competition sponsored by EBLEX, where we came a fantastic bronze!

HE – provision has been strengthened this year, with the validation of our new BSc (Hons) Food Manufacturing with Operations Management, giving a clear pathway from Level 3 food through to Level 6.  We look forward to our first intake of students in September for this course.

Individual Recognition Award – May saw our very own Food Curriculum Area Manager Nick Blakemore  rewarded for his support given to team members.  Nick is a crucial member to the team, who always displays a high degree of empathy and understanding for colleagues and students alike.  Well done Nick!


Toni-Anne Harrison

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Reaseheath College’s dairy technologists celebrate first year success

EDEN Adam-Brazendale-Shaun-McKenzie-Mike-Reid-Darius-Barkunas-and-Nick-Blakemore-1030x656Twenty four trainee dairy technologists reached a significant career milestone when they completed the first year of their Eden training programme at Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, earlier this month.

The technologists work for leading companies in the dairy industry and attend the Eden International Dairy Academy for block release training, spending the rest of their time in their workplace. They will graduate with a globally recognised foundation degree in dairy technology on completion of their three year course. The education initiative is supported by key players in the dairy industry and is aimed at producing world-class staff. There are currently 75 trainees on the programme.

While at college, the technologists gain hands-on practical experience in Reaseheath’s industry-standard, food and dairy processing plant. The facilities enable the students to see food production from start to finish and also to carry out new product development.

Three of the first year cohort were in line for special honours as they celebrated completing their initial year of study.

Darius Barkunas, who works for Arla Foods, was selected as the Best Practical Student. The 27 year-old began working for Arla in Settle, Yorkshire, six years ago as an agency worker and has progressed to becoming a process technician. He was selected for his practical skills and for his ability to explain his practical knowledge to others.

He said: “Being offered a place on the Eden programme was like winning the lottery and I cannot thank my company enough for supporting me. Coming to Reaseheath is brilliant. The lecturers are totally dedicated to their job and the facilities are wonderful.”

Mike Reid, 29, a Dairy Crest employee, received the Best Academic Student award. for consistently achieving outstanding exam and assignment results and for his exceptional attention to detail. Mike has worked for Dairy Crest in Gloucester for 11 years and has immersed himself in the academic content of his course despite having done no serious studying since his ‘A’ levels in 2002.

He said: “Coming to college after such a long break was a big cultural challenge but everyone at Reaseheath has been extremely friendly and helpful. I am delighted that my company has chosen to support me through this qualification.”

Shaun McKenzie, 18, from Muller Dairy was voted the Dairy Culture Student of the Year after receiving the student vote for the way he supports his colleagues. The former apprentice is now a permanent staff member at Muller’s Market Drayton base and is mentored by Eden graduate Mitchell Tullett.

Presenting the awards, Adam Brazendale, Business Development Manager for the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink said: “Eden students are at the forefront of an exciting future for the UK dairy industry. This is a unique training programme aimed at supporting and developing skills within the dairy processing industry.

“The Eden programme is an excellent qualification and we are proud to have Reaseheath as our Dairy Champion for Food and Drink.”

Read more about the Eden programme here.

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BRC Bootcamp

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We have recently made headlines yet again online in Food Manufacturer, through the launch of the first BRC bootcamp between Cert ID and Reaseheath College.

Cert ID Europe is Reaseheath Food Centre’s certification body for the BRC audit. They approached us and other providers (names not given) earlier this year regarding an opportunity to launch a BRC bootcamp. We won the bid and are now launching the first BRC bootcamp, which covers an onsite BRC course for lead auditors, HACCP Level 3 training course led by us and further mock audits in our facilities and other industry links.

This opportunity shows our commitment to assist in growing the lead auditor market, consistent training methods and auditing experiences at Reaseheath Food Centre.

For more information on the new BRC bootcamp please visit:

Schools Bake Off The Marches Classic fish and chips

Young Bakers’ Cakes Are Fit For A Queen

Schools Bake Off The Marches Classic fish and chipsBudding bakers from across the region were crowned winners in a hotly contested schools challenge laid down by Reaseheath’s food department.

Just ten entries from a total of 120 made it through to the final of Reaseheath’s Year 9 Schools Bake Off Competition, which was held in our specialist Food Centre last week. Contestants had to bake a cake or pastry with a royal theme.

The judging panel, made up of professional chef Brian Mellor, Cheshire WI judge Mary Hignett and Peter Wright, Chairman of sponsors the Wrights Pies Food Group, were looking for originality, presentation and taste.

The competition attracted entries from 45 secondary schools in five counties. Teams of our food technologists selected the finalists after visiting schools throughout Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Wirral and mid Wales to view and taste the cakes and to test the knowledge of the young bakers. These contestants had already won through from a first round consisting of a mood board with photos of the finished product.

Winner Charlotte Parton with her entry ‘Fit for a Queen’

Winner Charlotte Parton with her entry ‘Fit for a Queen’

Overall winner was Charlotte Parton, 13, from the Grove School, Market Drayton, who won a £100 cash prize plus two iPads for her school. Charlotte’s entry ‘Fit for a Queen’, was a Victoria sponge decorated with hand crafted butter biscuits shaped like soldiers and topped with a sugar crown. Second place went to a coconut and cherry cake made by Megan Glover and Louise Brown from Stockport School and third was a sponge decorated with roses made by Sam Platt and Lily Peachment from Cransley School, Northwich.


Other finalists were Charlotte Hesketh from Sandbach High School, Alex Thacker and Nicola Stockdale from Manchester High School for Girls, Izzy Burton and Anna Davies from The Marches School, Oswestry,  Elain Wyn and Elin Evans from Llanfyllin High School and Fiona Collins from Cheadle Hulme School.

Stockport School’s Megan Glover and Louise Brown with their coconut crown

Stockport School’s Megan Glover and Louise Brown with their coconut crown

Styled on the hit TV programme ‘The Great British Bake-Off’, Reaseheath’s competition was so popular that we plan to repeat it next year, this time with a savoury meat theme.

Mary Hignett said: “We have just witnessed the bakers of the future, all of whom have very good technical ability and excellent skills. Their cakes had wonderful textures and flavours. The standards were so high that it was very difficult for us to select the top three.  In our opinion, all the finalists were winners.

“Reaseheath’s food department should be congratulated on running such an inspired and exciting competition.”

Reaseheath Food Curriculum Manager Nick Blakemore, who led the project, said: “We were amazed at the pupils’ novel ideas. It was a very hard job to select the finalists because each entry had something to bring to the table. It was even harder to select the winners!”



Charlotte, a keen home baker, said: “I wanted to make my cake original and I tried out lots of ideas at home and at school. The competition was brilliant fun and I got great feedback from the judges. It’s made me even keener to look at food science as a career.”