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Devonshire Dome Restaurant
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AA Rosette puts Buxton at the top table for teaching restaurants

Published On Wednesday 25 May 2016 by Sticky Beak
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Passion and enthusiasm are two of the ingredients which have helped the University of Derby’s Fine Dining Restaurant in Buxton win the highest accolade of its kind – and get students jobs with the likes of Gordon Ramsay.

“It was clear to see why this had been named as one of the top five universities providing degrees in tourism, hospitality, events and spa management,” said a mystery diner from the AA College Rosette scheme who gave the restaurant in the Buxton Campus Highly Commended status, the top accreditation available.

And the restaurant, in what used to be a rehabilitation ward when the building was used as a hospital, is run by first-year students with second-year colleagues overseeing their work.

“I believe the recognition achieved by these students reflects our approach, which is to enable them to develop high levels of professional competence,” said Tony Clodd, Head of Culinary and Hospitality Management at the University of Derby.

Recent examples of students’ success include one who was offered a job at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, another at the Alinea restaurant in Chicago, both of which are Michelin-three-starred – while a team of undergraduates are soon to travel to The Dorchester in London to hear if they have won the internationally renowned Toque d’Or competition.

Left to right Callum Le Goff, Kaylam Prince, Chris Jones, Ewen Crilley, Gary Hammond, Iuean Roberts and Laura Nutter.

The University’s sister organisation, Buxton and Leek College, which trains younger students in the same restaurant, was awarded Commended accreditation, demonstrating how the two institutions build on each other’s work to support young people as they progress towards a fulfilling career.

Tony said the restaurant was a platform from which students can develop supervisory and management skills: “The restaurant also enables them to apply and evaluate concepts relating to guest service, costing and control, systems and systems interfaces, regulatory compliance, team working and quality management.”

Comments from the AA in a section describing how the restaurant achieved its Wow! factor included: “Passion and enthusiasm shown by students and lecturers… awareness of guests’ needs and comfort… excellent display of an intuitive approach.”

And the comments on the food included: “Very well executed… detailed uniform arrangement added to visual appeal… vibrant in colour and offering positive depth and clarity of flavour.”

Anne Barber, Curriculum Leader for Hospitality and Catering at Buxton and Leek College, said:

“We are extremely pleased with the AA award and proud of our students. Their professionalism and skills learnt and displayed in our open kitchens and restaurant, at this stage in their career, are at such a high standard.

“The courses here at Buxton and Leek College can set them up for a successful future in hospitality, with recent students going onto work for high profile employers such as Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, as well as other top local employers.”

lThe University’s Buxton Campus is housed in the magnificent Devonshire Dome, built in 1789 by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire as a stable and converted in 1881 to a hospital with the addition of what was then the largest unsupported dome in the world.

It was reopened as a university in 2006 by the Prince of Wales.

To find out more about studying tourism, hospitality, events and spa management at the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus, visit: