December 10 2013 Latest news:
by Amanda Nunn
Friday, September 21, 2012
A deaf student chef impressed his colleagues so much while preparing food for Olympic and Paralympic athletes he was offered a job.
Ryan Easton 19, who studies catering at Redbridge College, was one of 52 students working as professional chefs catering for 13,000 athletes including Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.
The students, from the college in Barley Lane, Little Heath, created a variety of dishes including Caribbean, African and Asian food.
Ryan said: “It was very hard work each day but if there were any problems we all helped each other – the people I was working with were all incredibly nice. I learnt new skills and techniques that I hadn’t seen before.”
He was initially supported by a signer from the college, but after gaining confidence Ryan was able to work unsupervised with the other chefs.
He said: “The thing I will remember most is the respect I received and knowledge I gained from the experienced chefs who acted as my mentors.”
Another success over the 10 week period was Omar Ben-Haddouch, 17, who impressed staff and was promoted over his more experienced colleagues.
He said: “My favourite part of the experience were gaining knowledge from chefs from all over world and meeting the Paralympic athletes - they inspired me so much and really opened my eyes.”
The students served up to 3,000 portions of each item on the menus which included specialities such as halal food.
Student Vilson Delishaj, 17, who worked during the Olympics and Paralymics, said: “Being in the athlete’s village was just amazing. Just to know that I have been part of the Olympics is incredible. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”
The students were accompanied by Sharon Sullivan, the manager for hospitality and catering at the college.
She said: “I am incredibly proud and overwhelmed by the dedication and motivation of the Redbridge College learners. The response of chefs from all over the world to working alongside our learners was also fantastic.”