Skip to main content


Michelin-starred chef and alumnus lead student masterclass

Updated: 26.11.21

Michelin-starred chef and alumnus lead student masterclass

A four times Michelin-starred chef has shared his industry expertise in a masterclass for catering and hospitality students at The Sheffield College.

Adam Smith, Executive Chef at Restaurant Coworth Park, based at Ascot, was joined by former college student James Rodgers, Commis Chef.

Under Adam and James’s guidance, students brought the Restaurant Coworth Park experience to 50 guests dining at the College’s Silver Plate Restaurant last year, on November 4th, 2021.

Inspired by the Restaurant Coworth Park menu, the dishes included scallops, caviar, Cotswold chicken terrine, truffles, Legbar eggs, Highland Wagyu beef and signature chocolate.

James, 19, completed a Level 3 Professional Cookery Diploma at Level 3, in summer 2021 after progressing from Level 1 and Level 2 catering courses.

During the course, he learnt the latest culinary skills and advanced kitchen, larder, production and patisserie work techniques.

In his current role as Commis Chef, James is involved in food preparation and ensuring the right items are ordered for the next day and is learning from the chefs around him. He said: “I’m really enjoying it. It’s been a learning curve, but a very good one. It was hard at first but now I have settled in.

“Studying at The Sheffield College has helped a lot and I would absolutely recommend it. My lecturers taught me all the basics that I needed to know, including how to run a kitchen.

“Every year on the course you learn more and it’s really useful to have lecturers with industry links. I got this role through their contacts. It's great to be able to return to thank them.”

Adam has recently achieved a Michelin star for the fourth year running. Prior to joining Restaurant Coworth Park, he spent 10 years working at The Ritz in London and has previously won both the Roux Scholarship and a gold medal at WorldSkills.

Commenting on what he looks for in the next generation of talent coming through, Adam said: “The biggest thing is attitude and willingness to learn.

“If you have that then you’ve got what it takes to do well in the industry. You can be taught the rest. My advice to students is take on everything you can. Be open to all experiences. Never close your eyes to opportunities.”

He added: “When you are shown something, there is no right or wrong, learn as many different ways as you can.”

He insists there’s no secret to his success. Adam explained: “I’m just passionate about my job and love what I do. It’s important to enjoy what you are doing every day and it was great to be able to share that with the students.”

Len Unwin, Curriculum Team Leader, Catering and Hospitality, The Sheffield College, said: “It’s brilliant to see our students go further in their careers under the guidance of those at the top of the industry.”

He added: “I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Adam Smith, Executive Chef, and James Rodgers, Commis Chef, at the Restaurant Coworth Park for sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise with our students.

“Adam wanted our students and guests to have a real taste of Restaurant Coworth Park and provided many of the ingredients and preparation.”

Restaurant Coworth Park is based at the Coworth Park Hotel, which is part of the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels.

The students who took part are based at the College’s City Campus, on Granville Road, and are part of the employer skills academies programme, the MSK Professional Cookery Academy and MSK Patisserie Skills Academy.

The Sheffield College offers a range of bakery, catering and hospitality and patisserie courses.

Catering and hospitality staff have strong connections to industry, including being Master Chefs of Great Britain and The Craft Guild of Chefs, leading to skills development, experiences of industry and job opportunities for those they teach.

Find out more about our catering and hospitality courses starting in September 2022, or visit our Sector-specific Open Day on Thursday 24th February to meet our industry experts. 

Previous Articles

  • Why you should care about the biggest shake-up to vocational education in a decade

    Why you should care about the biggest shake-up to vocational education in a decade


    The biggest shake-up to vocational education and training in over a decade is currently passing through Parliament on its journey to becoming law.

    Read More
  • The Sheffield College’s national finalists prepare for WorldSkills UK

    The Sheffield College’s national finalists prepare for WorldSkills UK


    Three learners who have honed their skills at The Sheffield College are competing in the WorldSkills UK National Finals.

    Read More