Students from West Lothian College cooked up a storm at the Sheridan Hotel recently at the annual Hospitality Industry Trust fundraiser.

Sixteen Professional Cookery students and six HNC Events students attended the luncheon over two days to support the event. The cookery students worked under the guidance of Shaun Woodhouse – executive head chef and his team in providing meals for over 450 people. Events students helped set up and run the event taking direction from Lux Events.

The Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland is a charity for the hospitality industry in Scotland, encouraging the development of anyone working or studying in the sector.

The fundraiser featured guest speakers two-Michelin starred chef Steven McLaughlin, chef to the queen Mark Flanagan, and Michelin starred chef Alain Roux. The West Lothian students were treated to an added bonus when Alain, Mark and Steven took time to pop in the kitchen and personally acknowledge their efforts. They took questions from the students regarding their own careers and gave tips for success in the industry.

Hospitality Lecturer Audrey Buckley said: “We all had a great day. The students really got a lot out of the experience and it was great of the chefs to speak with them. It was great for staff as well, a good chance to network for us. Having previously secured scholarship with HIT we understand the value of the work they do and the opportunities they offer.”

Paul Devonshire, chef lecturer, said: “Completing work experience like this is a vital part of our students’ training, building on the success from last year’s work placements we’re in the process of finalising this year’s Level 5 work placements.”

Most recently Kirsteen Scott, an HNC Events student, secured a trip to Lausanne in Switzerland courtesy of HIT Scotland for a two day Customer Experience workshop at the top hotel school in the world.

The Edinburgh luncheon raised just short of £70,000 for placements and scholarships for people in the hospitality industry.