French students visit Hastings as part of culinary exchange

Some of the visiting students
Some of the visiting students

A group of French students visited town to work in hotels and restaurants as part of an exchange.

Sussex Coast College’s Hospitality and Catering School and the Georges-Freche School of Hotel Management in Montpellier, France, have formed a partnership under the Erasmus Plus project.

As a result, the Lycee George-Freche recently sent nine Hospitality and Catering students to Hastings to complete work experience in local hotels and restaurants, in partnership with the college.

Many well-known establishments in 1066 Country were involved, including the Wild Mushroom Restaurant in neighbouring Westfield, the Fish Café in Rye, the Mermaid Inn, also in Rye, St Clements Restaurant in St Leonards and Webbe’s Restaurant in Hastings.

During the month-long placement period the French students undertook a variety of food preparation and food service tasks in the restaurants across the area, with the goal of gaining a wealth of experience to coincide with their learning.

Sussex Coast College will be sending students to Montpellier next year to work in local establishments, which tutors at the college believe will give them excellent experience and improve on the skills they have already acquired through their course.

Lycee George-Freche Tutor, Valérie Toutain, said: “The students loved their experience working in the different establishments.

“The teams in the kitchens and service were very nice, patient, helpful and had fun with them.

“The chefs and headwaiters were very satisfied with the students, commenting on their professionalism, passion for the job, and their joyful personalities, making them a pleasure to work with.

“The students were all happy to return home and see their families, but sad to end such a wonderful experience here in Hastings.”

Jeremy Oughton, head of international at Sussex Coast College, said: “I am looking forward to developing a long-term relationship with Georges-Freche School of Hotel Management and cannot wait to send students to Montpellier next year.”