National Star College students shine in Food Glorious Food
Four National Star College students make their debut on national TV this week in a new contest to find Britain's favourite recipe.
The team from the Star Bistro will be on Food Glorious Food which starts on ITV tomorrow.
The Star Bistro was launched just over a year ago. Open to the public and based at the college campus in Ullenwood, near Cheltenham, the Bistro prides itself on using the best locally-sourced ingredients.
It's a joint project between the National Star Foundation and the Wiggly Worm charity. Its aim is to offer students work experience and also work for people with a range of disabilities.
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The National Star College is a national centre of excellence supporting young people with complex disabilities. Every year more than 1,600 people use its expert services and support.
When Food Glorious Food launched its campaign to find Britain's favourite recipe the Bistro team decided to enter.
Even creating the recipe was a collaborative effort. By the time they were finished they had created a jelly for grown-ups which includes Pimm's, Three Choirs sparkling wine, fresh fruit and berries and an intense orange sauce. It is all topped off with a tuile biscuit.
The Star Bistro four – Georgina Ivins, Rachel Janes, Tristan Blick and Joe Cook – are remaining tight lipped about how well they have done in the series.
Food Glorious Food stars Carol Vorderman, Tom Parker Bowles, Loyd Grossman and former MasterChef winner Stacie Stewart.
Six regional winners will go on to the semi finals with the final two battling it out for a contract with Marks & Spencer and a £20,000 prize.
Georgina, Rachel and Tristan all work at the Bistro while also studying at the college. Joe, who finished at the college in July, is working part-time in a cafe near his home.
All four have loved the TV experience. "But there is a lot of waiting and it was nerve wracking when you have to wait for the results," said Georgina.
Rachel, Tristan and Joe have all worked in the kitchen at the Bistro and front of house while Georgina concentrates on front of house. But during the filming of Food Glorious Food they all had to perform different roles on the team – from assembling the jellies to making the orange sauce.
Tristan, who is 19, has recently moved into a flat on his own in Cheltenham. In his third year, he has become almost independent. "The National Star College has helped me build my confidence and self-esteem and is helping me to become independent," Tristan says.
His dream is to get more experience in restaurants and go on to develop his catering qualifications in further education.
During filming Tristan was team leader and his job was to ensure the four worked together as a unit and performed at their best.
Georgina, 18, is the youngest member of the team and has loved every minute of the filming. Her favourite moment was meeting Carol Vorderman.
College principal Kathryn Rudd says the TV series has been a great experience for the students.
"They are wonderful ambassadors for National Star College and all we believe in. "Our mission is to support young people with complex disabilities and allow them to develop their full potential."
The Star Bistro is open five days a week, Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm. To reserve a table, please call 01242 535984. Find out more at www.natstar.ac.uk