Harrogate College's design-a-menu project hailed a success by RHS Harlow Carr

A great example of teamwork is the verdict after hospitality students at Harrogate College were asked to create a hypothetical menu, with a focus on sustainability, for the new café RHS Harlow Carr is creating.

By Graham Chalmers
Monday, 4th July 2022, 5:05 pm

Located at the former Harrogate Arms pub, the challenge involved the students splitting into sub-teams to come up with different ideas.

Their completed menus ended up featuring everything from vegetable lasagne to an eggs Benedict and smoothie combo, along with inventive twists on traditional family favourites.

Hospitality students at Harrogate College preparing a vegetable planter.

The RHS Harlow Carr team were impressed with the results, and gave positive feedback across the board.

Commenting on a presentation by students Ellena, Chris and Amber, they said: “The vegetable lasagne and side salad looked very colourful and fresh.

"It was excellently presented and would appeal to both adults and children alike.

“The presentation was extremely thorough and well planned.

"There was excellent consideration given to sourcing local food and reducing the carbon footprint.

“Their menu choice appealed to us as they had considered our audience and their needs.

"They provided a menu that created the option of eating in or ‘taking out’, which customers would appreciate the flexibility.

“Consideration was also given to the ‘take-out’ packaging providing ethical choices, for example through using beeswax wraps.”

The project proved a hit with the students too, who enjoyed a fact-finding trip to the gardens.

They were then given a ‘sowing and growing’ masterclass - using planters built at the college - by an RHS Harlow Carr gardener, who visited several times.

In her report, Professional Cookery student Ellena Harrison-Wood described how she relished the chance to come up with environmentally-friendly solutions as part of her team’s pitch.

She said: “Doing this project massively helped me personally grow and develop a lot of skills, including my *STEM 7 skills.

“We were very conscious of our carbon footprint and making it as small as possible.

"Part of our plan was to use local businesses in Harrogate to really cut down on the travel of our ingredients, and to give back to the local community."

“We were very conscious of our carbon footprint and making it as small as possible. Part of our plan was to use local businesses in Harrogate to really cut down on the travel of our ingredients, and to give back to the local community. “

Harrogate College, which is working towards becoming net zero carbon by 2030, has made sustainability one of its key goals and provides carbon literacy training to students and staff.

Harrogate College’s Cultural, Contemporary and Heritage Studies Programme Manager, Jason Parry, said: “It has been a really successful collaborative project and the students have taken a lot from it.

“They did a great job, and we’re already talking to RHS Harlow Carr about teaming up again soon.”

STEM 7 refers to the core skills that underpin STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and are vital in all kinds of jobs.