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butchery students Weddel Swift 1 MB

Future butchers gain industry insight

butchery students Weddel Swift 1 MB

A fantastic study trip for our professional butchery students, visiting the meat wholesale company Weddel Swift.

Based in Chester, the company pulled out all the stops for the visit, with two of their managers and one of the directors taking the time to share their industry knowledge and experience with our future butchers.

Students were taken round the depot in groups to help illustrate to them the different aspects of meat distribution processes. The students and Weddel staff got a real buzz from the visit and a free lunch thrown in – what a brilliant day!

For more information on our Level 2 Professional Butchery course visit the college website.

Douglas Ewen

Butcher Lecturer

 

Foundation student get a taste of butchery

A taste of a butcher’s life

Foundation student get a taste of butchery

Foundation students recently visited the food department for a butchery taster session, accompanied by their Course Manager Julie Gray.

During the session they took part in a knife safety skills workshop, introducing them to the department’s health and safety in the workplace programme, Be Wise. They also made some excellent steak burgers, which are been sold in the College’s farm shop.  All the students were engaged throughout the session and were enthusiastic to learn new skills.

The students are a real credit to their teaching staff and to themselves, and more than welcome back to the butchery department any time.

The butchery department is planning to hold a number of taster sessions for current students, which will take place on a Monday afternoon. If you are interesting in taking part in one of the sessions, please contact our butchery lecturer Douglas Ewen.

 

new food students September 2014

Reaseheath welcomes new food students!

new food students September 2014

 

The food department was delighted to welcome our new and continuing students for another year of learning this September!

The new students took part in a variety of fun induction events organised by their course managers and have already settled into college life.

Further Education courses running this year include Level 2 and Level 3 Bakery and Patisserie, Level 2 Butchery and Level 3 Food Technology and Management.

Our Higher Education students are studying FdSc/ BSc Food Manufacturing with Business Management and FdSc Dairy Technology. We are proud to be educating the butchers, bakers and cake decorators as well as food and dairy technologists of the future!

The following poem was written by Sam Copeland, Course Manager Level 2 Bakery and Patisserie during a busy week of induction for our FE students…where did she find the time!!

An ode to Reaseheath food students by Sam Copeland

 From the giggles in the changing rooms

That’s the girls as well as boys

To the delight of opening up a box

And seeing brand new bakery toys!

From the whispers from the nervous ones

To the guffaws from the not so shy!

To the hellos and embraces in the mornings

To getting on the bus to say goodbye

From the macaroon’s and fruit cake

To the vanilla flavoured drink

From the sunshine getting up so early

To cold mornings oh so brisk!

From stocking up the farm shop

And enjoying tasting cakes

To baking whisking making

And eating lunch down by the lake

To the tutors, technicians and support staff

To the students oh so new

‘clean as you go’ Kat tells us

Then problems will be few

To the dairy or the butchery

To the bakery or P2

Wherever you are heading now

We are all here to help you

Enjoy your days at Reaseheath

Go to lessons don’t be late

The time will pass so quick you see

Before you know- you’ll graduate!!

 

 

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

Issue 3 The Burger Team edit smaller

Reaseheath burgers get top marks for taste

Issue 3 The Burger Team edit smaller

Innovative burgers made by food technology students from Reaseheath College in Nantwich have won bronze awards in the first round of the EBLEX ‘England’s Best Burger Challenge’.

The recipes for the ‘Reaseheath Ultimate Beef Burger’ and the ‘Reaseheath Ultimate Lamb Burger’ were designed by a group of Level 3 Diploma in Food Technology and Management students as part of their studies in meat science. The minted lamb burgers and chilli beef burgers were then made by Foundation Level 1 Food Preparation and Cooking students.

EBLEX represents the beef and lamb industry in England and runs the prestigious competition biannually as part of its campaign to boost quality and innovation. The aim is to find the most succulent, tender and tasty burgers in the country.

The contest is open to any catering or butchery establishment and this year attracted record entries from throughout England. This was the first time that Reaseheath had submitted an entry.  The students had to follow very specific guidelines and strict control measures and the burgers were tested in raw and cooked form.  Just the gold award winners go forward to the national final.

Butchery lecturer Doug Ewen, who oversaw and submitted the entries, said: “This was a fantastic result for the students as there is no guarantee that you will receive any award, especially on the first attempt. It was an excellent achievement which the student can add to their CVs and which will help them as they progress into their chosen careers.”

Competition organiser Hugh Judd, EBLEX Food Service Project Manager, said: “The quality of entries this year was very high. Reaseheath’s students did extremely well, particularly as they were competing against entries from the whole of the burger sector.”

Reaseheath Food Centre is one of the best equipped food processing teaching and practical facilities in Europe. Built to industry standards and staffed by a team of specialist food technologists, the £7.3million facilities include a butchery production area.  A new Level 2 Diploma in Professional Butchery course, aimed at school leavers, launches in September.

Douglas Ewen 782 KB issue 3

Reaseheath Welcomes New Butchery Course Manager!

Douglas Ewen 782 KB issue 3

Hello everyone, my name is Douglas Ewen.

l am the new butchery lecturer and course manager at Reaseheath Food Centre. During my short time at the College,( apart from setting off the fire alarms…) I have carried out various butchery demonstrations using animals reared from the College farm. This meat served to supply the staff Christmas dinner and College canteen. I am currently developing various butchery courses for students, which will hopefully be interesting, informative and hands on.

I’m particularly excited to be teaching the brand new Level 2 Diploma in Professional Butchery at Reaseheath, starting in September 2014. This course aims to provide students with a realistic overview of butchery to help them move forward into their careers.

l have been involved in working to the highest of standards in various butchery roles both traditional and modern European for over twenty five years. During that time l managed a business which won Scotland’s best butcher for three consecutive years, along with UK’s best butcher. I have worked in various fresh food positions throughout both the UK and Ireland and for major retailers including: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Tulip and the Vion food group. I have also carried out meat quality assurance for ALDI supermarkets, to ensure that their suppliers, provided products to ALDI’s strict guidelines. You may not know that a number of major retailers sell their excess stock to ALDI, which in turn they label and sell cheaper! Aside from my passion for butchery, I have enjoyed many sports over the years and was a swimming, ski, gym and martial art instructor, training myself and others to various regional, national and international levels. These days l still enjoy going swimming and keeping fit at the gym. As you may be aware, eating a balanced and healthy diet is extremely important. Here are two of my favourite recipes that l enjoy which are nutritious, cost effective, tasty, quick and easy to prepare. All ingredients are ready available or you may laready some of these ingredients in your cupboards or fridge!

Doug’s Favourite Chicken Recipes

Sweet Sticky Chicken Thighs

1lb or 460g British chicken thighs skin on (£2.75 per pack)

2 tbsps clear honey (£1.40 for 340g jar)

2 garlic cloves –  crushed (30p)

200g/7oz basmati rice – cleaned and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes  (£1.50)

365ml/ 13fl oz water

Salad bag (£1.50)

Thai sweet chilli sauce (£1.50)

Total approximate cost for 3 people £7.85 – that’s just £2.60 per person!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6) or 180C for fan oven.
  2. Rinse rice well and then soak for 15 minutes in cold water and then drain.
  3. Whilst rice is soaking, place honey, crushed garlic and chilli sauce into a bowl and mix together.
  4. Place the drained rice into a pot with 365ml/13 fl oz of fresh water and place onto the heat. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  5. Whilst the rice is simmering, place the chicken into the oven wearing oven gloves for 15-20mins and cook until golden colour, making sure juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
  6. Once the rice has simmered,  remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes
  7. Serve the chicken with rice and add salad for a little extra crunch.

 

Spicy Chicken Tikka Kebabs

1lb or 460g British chicken thighs skinless -cut into cubes (£2.75 per pack)

2 tbsps tikka paste (£1.80 jar)

Natural yoghurt (£1.50)

1 lime (30p)

4 spring onions (70p)

Metal (reusable) or bamboo skewers (£1.50)

 

Total cost: approximately £8.55 for 3 people – that’s less than £3.00 each!

Method

  1. Pre-heat the grill.
  2. Place tikka paste, yoghurt, spring onions, half the lime juice in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Carefully thread the chicken pieces onto skewers.
  4.  Use the juice of the other half of lime sprinkle to on the top.
  5. Grill for approximately 10 minutes on each side, turn and baste with the paste mix, until cooked through.
  6. Serve with salad or rice.

For any help, advice or support my door is always open in the food department. Please come and say hello and I hope you enjoy my recipes.

Douglas Ewen

Butchery Lecturer/Course Manager

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