WestKing’s highly-regarded School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Victoria was co-founded over 100 years ago by the French culinary legend Auguste Escoffier. Before he helped create our culinary school, Escoffier had been drafted in by world-famous Hotelier Cesar Ritz to improve the kitchens and the quality of the food served in his new Savoy hotel in London. Escoffier introduced a military-style discipline and allocation of roles to the Savoy – transforming the kitchens (and the Savoy’s fortunes) and laying the foundations for the way pretty much all modern restaurant kitchens work today.
The Channel 5 series Inside The Savoy: London’s Most Famous Hotel, pays tribute to Escoffier’s role in revolutionizing the Savoy’s dining experience and for the programme the programme makers interviewed Westminster Kingsway Chef Lecturer Miranda Godfrey and filmed our students in action at our School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts.
Miranda has known food historian Dr. Annie Gray – who also features in the Channel 5 programme – for about a year, since they collaborated on a BBC Two programme about Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert. Miranda told us: “Annie recommended they [the programme makers] come and film me and our students. At that point the producer didn’t know the association of Escoffier with the college, so they were very keen to get this included.
“It’s all very exciting as I have learnt so much, but also been able to include students and enhance their knowledge of culinary history.”
You can watch the whole programme on My5, Channel 5’s catch-up service – the part that features Auguste Escoffier, Miranda and the college starts at 14 mins 30 seconds.
Miranda is also set to feature in a new one-off ITV documentary – Victoria’s Palace, to be broadcast on ITV, on Monday 13 May at 9pm. in the programme, Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham will “…discover how Queen Victoria transformed Buckingham Palace from an unloved, unfinished and unfurnished building into the home of Monarchy.”
Meanwhile, in his blog Cooking Up a Career at Westminster Kingsway College on the Edge Foundation website, our Head of Faculty for Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Business, Terry Tinton writes about our Young Chef’s Academy course for school-age children. Since it started in 2003, the Academy has given 900 young people the ideal grounding in the culinary arts and for many has been their introduction to a successful career in the industry.
As Terry explains in the blog: “We hear so much about graduates being unemployed or over-qualified in the jobs they are doing – this is not the case for the graduating chefs on our full-time courses because they all go on to have fulfilling and lucrative careers.”
Read the whole blog here.