Barnsley College catering students get five-star experience at Gleneagles

Sean Dunne and Craig Gerrard in Barnsley College's Zest Restaurant
Sean Dunne and Craig Gerrard in Barnsley College's Zest Restaurant
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Two Barnsley College catering apprentices sampled life in a fine dining environment during a work placement at the famous Gleneagles Hotel and Resort.

Sean Dunne, aged 20, and Craig Gerrard, 18, spent two weeks at the five-star luxury golf hotel in Scotland where they worked in the hotel’s grand 300-seat Strathearn Restaurant and in the less formal Deseo Restaurant.

Sean, of Cundy Cross, is studying a level four Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management while Craig, of Brierley, is on a level three Apprenticeship programme in Hospitality, Leadership and Supervision.

Sean said: “Spending two weeks at Gleneagles has given me a great deal of confidence. I was nervous beforehand but the level of organisation I experienced in the two restaurants put me at ease.

“I was really impressed by the planning that went into preparing for the events on which I worked, which included a breakfast for 300 guests.”

Craig said: “The whole experience was very beneficial. It was brilliant to see how high standards are at Gleneagles and to learn how much work goes into creating a five-star dining experience.

“Going to the hotel has given me ideas which we could put in place at Zest Restaurant in the college. I was pleased with how the two weeks went and would like to gain more experience in a five-star establishment.”

Andrew Leaver, HR services manager at Gleneagles Hotel and Resort, said: “Sean and Craig immersed themselves unreservedly into the Gleneagles environment.

“Gleneagles can be a daunting prospect for seasoned hoteliers but Sean and Craig seemed unfazed and quickly got to grips with challenges they were set, rotating through both the formal dining setting of the Strathearn and Deseo Restaurants with equal enthusiasm.

“They appeared to enjoy their experience so much they were disappointed when it came to an end.”