I recently attended a dinner held at the University of West London Ealing Campus. The venue was Pillars Restaurant, which is the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism’s award winning, fine dining student training restaurant.
The restaurant is a specially designed educational environment, where students learn the nuances of working in the hospitality world within a commercial restaurant and professional kitchen.
The restaurant is a member of Sustainable Restaurant Association, with a strong focus on minimising waste, using fresh, local and seasonal produce and sourcing ingredients responsibly.
The dinner was organised by freelance chef, photographer and food writer Andra of Mint and Rosemary, who I have met at several food blogging events. Besides being a talented chef, she is an alumnus as well as a Guest Lecturer at UWL.
I was joined by some other lovely bloggers to sample some of the dishes created by these students in the penultimate stage of their courses.
All the food is cooked and served by the students, as well as coming up with the themes, menu design, choice of ingredients etc. With each evening’s course, vegan and vegetarian alternatives are available as well. The students work in teams and each student is the head chef of the evening, whilst the rest of the group assists him or her on that day. As a result, the menu changes daily, depending on the teams controlling the operations in the kitchen. As it is an educational institution, prices are very affordable. Alongside food, there is a drinks menu available where you can buy some good quality wine and spirits at reasonable prices.
We tried a range of dishes from their ‘Feel Good Menu’, specially designed for that evening.
Steamed Dimsum Platter
Crispy Honey Chilli Chicken
Braised Chinese Eggplant
Egg Fried Rice
Banana Cake with Chocolate Cremeux and Caramelised Banana with Caramel Ice Cream
All in all, it was a wonderful experience tasting the food and meeting the next generation of chefs in training and supporting their journey. It is heartening to see these wonderful and talented young chefs work so hard behind the kitchen. I wonder who amongst them will be the next big thing? If you wish to encourage this new and upcoming group of talent, you can book a table via the link below.
Location : University of West London, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London, W5 5PT
N.B. Our meal was complimentary but all photos and opinions are mine.