Catering student lands prestigious work placement in top London hotel

Catering and Hospitality student, Declan Crofts, has spent two weeks on work placement at the London Hilton Hotel on Park Lane shadowing Head Chefs and participating in the annual British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) Awards Ceremony.

Working as part of the Patisserie and Banqueting kitchens, Declan, 17, of Hood Green, Barnsley, joined both teams for a fortnight of preparing, cooking and serving between 400 to 1,000 guests each day. He joined the well-known Hilton Hotel patisserie team who were finalists on the BBC’s ‘Bake Off Crème de la Crème’ helping out with afternoon tea service and shadowing the Head Patisserie Chef.

During his final week of placement, Declan was asked to assist with the food preparation and service for the BFFF’s annual awards ceremony where he cooked frozen food for the judges. Declan was also invited to the stage during the ceremony to collect an award for his contribution throughout his placement and for his part in the event.

The opportunity allowed Declan to gain skills and techniques he can apply to his course at college and future employment and gave him an insight into living alone in London. Thanks to the Barnsley College Enterprise department, Declan received funding to pay for all of his travel, accommodation and living expenses during his placement period. The college’s Enterprise department supports students and staff, as well as individuals across the borough, to act on business ideas or enterprising activities.

Catering and Hospitality Course Leader, Martyn Hollingsworth, said: “Declan has done both the college and the Catering department proud in achieving this amazing opportunity and gaining experience in one of the country’s top hotels. He was successful in gaining the work placement after cooking for the BFFF judges at the college in April. The Chef Marshal at the Hilton added his congratulations to the college for turning out such dedicated and methodical chefs which we are extremely honoured to hear.

“Thanks to Declan’s outstanding attitude towards his career goals in the industry, he has paved the way for strong working links and future placement opportunities with the Hilton Park Lane and the BFFF.”

Declan added: “I had the most amazing time working as part of the team at the Hilton. It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to experience life working for a large hotel chain within one of the busiest cities in the world. The skills I have taken away from my time there are really helping me with my course and I feel that it has put me in a good position to find a job when I leave college. I’d definitely recommend work placements to other students. The Enterprise department supported me throughout and made sure that I was able to take part in such an amazing experience by funding my trip.”


For more information on Barnsley College’s Catering and Hospitality courses call 01226 216 123 or visit our Catering and Hospitality department pages.

Last updated: 3rd August 2017

Originally posted on: 3rd August 2017