Crawley College students cooked for the Prime Minister and special guests.
They were invited to cater for more than 150 people, including 70 children, attending a Chinese New Year reception hosted by Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on Thursday (January 31) .
Three chefs who are studying a one-year diploma in Chinese culinary arts and a Crawley College apprentice commis chef whipped up eight types of canapés inspired by the Tianjin region of China, including steamed vegetable dumplings and beef brunoise.
A college spokesman said: “They were supported by chef lecturers from the college and master chefs from the Tianjin No2 School of Commerce, who have inspired and led the development of the unique qualification.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The UK is home to a vibrant British Chinese population and the Chinese New Year celebrations give us the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding contributions of this community to our country.
“I was delighted to meet so many children and young people from the UK’s Chinese community, including students from Crawley College who prepared the food for today’s event.
“My best wishes to everyone around the world celebrating Chinese New Year as we mark not only the Year of the Pig, but the continued growing relationship between Britain and China.”
Shelagh Legrave, chief executive of the Chichester College Group, which runs Crawley College, added: “It has been an amazing opportunity for our Chinese Culinary Arts students to put their learning into practice at the highest level.
“This is an innovative new course, which combines online learning and tuition direct from China, with practical workshops and assessments delivered here at Crawley.”
The course, the first of its kind in the UK, was designed to meet the growing demand and shortage of qualified Chinese culinary arts chefs in Britain.
Students on the programme come from all over the country, with the majority currently working in the hospitality industry. The blended learning model enables them to work and learn side-by-side as they develop authentic Chinese culinary skills.