Students in Moray have felt the heat in the kitchen with some of the country’s top chefs while preparing a five-course gala dinner.
Aspiring cooks in the region were tasked by some of the UK’s leading professionals to prepare an evening of fine dining.
Last night, the meals were served up to an audience of hundreds at Moray College UHI’s Beechtree Restaurant as part of a huge fundraiser.
Students, some of whom who only took their first steps on a hospitality course last week, started preparations shortly after 9am yesterday for the 8pm serving.
Five top chefs, including Moray College graduate Darren Bate who has prepared sweets for the Queen and Prince Charles, William Curley who has been named a Master of Culinary Arts, which is the highest accolade awarded to chefs in the UK, and South African-born Shaune Hall, who has headed culinary teams in Cape Town, devised dishes for the Elgin event.
Lorna McNee, who is currently competing in TV series Great British Menu, returned to Moray College where she studied to prepare a venison dish with the students.
The Forres native is now working at the Michelin-starred Andrew Fairlie restaurant in Gleneagles.
She said: “I’m sure the students have been taking in the information that I can pass on and taking it on board to broaden their own knowledge.
“It will be a great experience for them to see what’s involved in preparing for an event like this.
“The lecturers at the college were great for me, they really pushed me to put myself forward to work at Andrew Fairlie. I probably would never have done that otherwise.”
Canapes and cocktails were served on arrival for last night’s fine dining Evening with the Chefs event at the Beechtree Restaurant.
Among the guests were World War II veterans Alistair Lamb, who flew air missions, and Arthur Baxter Reid, who helped recover the first Enigma coding machine for the British, which was credited for shortening the war.
The event raised funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Widow’s Association as well as causes close to the chefs’ hearts.
Hospitality lecturer Tami Wilson said: “We want to prepare our students for the industry and this is the best way to do it, by getting them to work with professionals.
“It will have been a big learning curve for some of them, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to learn from the very best.”