Wondering where the catering and hospitality courses at City College Norwich could take you in life? Emma Outten follows the journey of two graduates
When Veronique Ananou arrived at City College Norwich, she couldn’t even spell her name in English. She enrolled at entry level and is now studying a Masters Degree in International Hotel and Tourism Management at Oxford Brookes University:
‘I left my home in Benin in West Africa in 2011 where I had worked in my mum’s shop after completing school in 2005 and a French Cookery course in 2008. I permanently settled in the UK in 2012 and decided to improve my English.
I chose City College Norwich because of its reputation and when I saw that they accepted international students, I said to myself, ‘this is the right place for me’.
I decided to continue studying hospitality, at entry level, and was also offered a place on the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course.
From there I progressed on to the Level 1 and Level 2 Hospitality courses which I completed with Distinction.
I moved on to the Level 3 Hospitality Supervision course, which I also completed with a Distinction, and won one of the college’s Student of the Year Awards. I then progressed on to the college’s Hospitality and Event Management degree, which I completed in 2018 with a 2:1.
Studying at the college meant that I was able to spend a significant amount of time in Debut Restaurant.
I was able to work alongside all of my studies which saw me rising through the ranks at Delia’s Restaurant at Norwich City Football Club before becoming the manager of the college’s Devour catering company.
I was also able to secure an overseas work placement through the college’s exchange programme which gave me the opportunity to work at The Imperial, a 4-star hotel in Vienna, Austria. I’m aiming to further my hospitality study by completing a PhD so I can eventually become a university lecturer.’
Leanne De’ath is a former Professional Cookery student, who is now working as a pastry sous chef at a luxury 5-star hotel after being a contestant on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals:
‘I first came to the college when I was 14 as part of their 14-16 provision. After completing this course, I joined the college full time to study professional cookery.
I decided to study at City College Norwich because the kitchens looked amazing and everyone was very welcoming. The thing I enjoyed most about studying hospitality was working in the Debut Restaurant.
After leaving college, I worked my way up to a point where I was working in the kitchens of 5-star hotels which saw me working at Hotel Café Royal and The Grove in Hertfordshire.
In 2018, I competed alongside Romain Tssr, head baker at Hotel Café Royal, on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals. After Bake Off, I returned to The Grove and am now working as their pastry sous chef.
I’ve had some really good pastry chefs teach me along the way, like Reece Collier from The Grove and Sarah Barber at Hotel Café Royal. Eventually, I’d like to either be a head pastry chef or open my own little pastry shop.
City College helped me by giving me confidence and skills that I still use today. I never thought I would be a pastry sous chef in a 5-star hotel at the age of 23 – but anything’s possible if you work hard for it.’
Joe Mulhall, head of hospitality, catering, and tourism, says: ‘We’re really proud of our alumni here at City College Norwich and Leanne and Veronique are two really good recent examples, as they demonstrate outstanding student progression after leaving us. Keep an eye out for our next information evening – come and take a look at the facilities we’ve got here, receive some advice and guidance to help you on your way to your next course.’
Featured in issue 36 – May 2019