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College Restaurant of the Year 2022 reacts to award win and work experience prize for students

09 Oct 2022
People 1st International

On Monday 26 September, Senara Restaurant at Truro & Penwith College were revealed as this year’s People 1st-sponsored College Restaurant of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards 2022.

With a relatively small hospitality department in comparison to other colleges, Senara Restaurant had no expectation of being crowned the winner. However, the judging panel of top industry experts saw something special in the college restaurant.

Throughout the competition, the team from Senara Restaurant impressed with their passion, knowledge, commitment and approach. It bases teaching on locally sourced, seasonal produce and the students are taught by professional chefs with years of industry experience between them. The local reputation of the restaurant shows they confidently compete with other commercial restaurants in the area.” – Andy Doyle, Head of Partnerships, People 1st International

The competition, which recognises the hard work of chef lecturers and student brigades that run college restaurants, this year focused on current and future trends in the industry such as sustainability, environmental challenges and changing food styles.

The team at the college reacted with pride at scooping the award. They were delighted to gain recognition for their team of lecturers and the high levels of professionalism that the college instils in its learners.

Jo Lello-Dunn, Programme Team Leader Hospitality, Beauty, and Hairdressing comments:

“To win is deserved recognition of the great team we have here at Penwith. How they work with sustainable, seasonal food every week of the year and how they generate a passion within all students for creative, tasty, satisfying food.

“All of our staff are from industry and have stepped sideways into teaching. As such they have very strong professional practise values. This award cements that we are doing it right. We are giving our students creative freedom in the kitchen and the front of house skills that have now been recognised by top industry professionals as a model for other colleges.”

And the award wasn’t the only prize the students and lecturers went home with.

In recognition of the time and effort put in by two students that helped Senara Restaurant to achieve the accolade of AA College Restaurant of the Year 2022, the People 1st International Accreditation Panel have sponsored a week of industry experience, which include some fantastic opportunities to help cultivate their passion for the industry:

To support their experience, the students will also receive:

The college are certain that spending a week experiencing work in these prestigious venues will be life changing and is offers an amazing opportunity for the students. Jo Lello-Dunn continues:

“The college is in a beautiful coastal location. Life here has peaks and troughs with the holiday seasons but all in all it is very peaceful. This London based work experience will give the students an amazing opportunity to experience the polar opposite.

“Working with some of the UKs top restaurant teams the students will experience how busy, how well planned, and how much teamwork matters as well as learning new recipes, new skills and meeting lots of influential people.”

The two students were equally thrilled at the prospect:

“We were blown away by the prize, a perfect end to an amazing night. We didn’t expect to be given such an amazing offer and can’t wait to see what doors will open for us.

“It will offer us the chance to work alongside AA rosette and highly acclaimed industry giants, seeing how they work and bringing back new and original ideas. We are looking forward to experiencing a new style of hospitality and getting our names out there for the future.” – Shania & Emily, students at Senara Restaurant, Truro & Penwith College.

Find out more about the People 1st-Sponsored AA College Restaurant of the Year Award.



The judging panel for the College Restaurant of the Year 2022 included Duncan Swanson, VP People at Yotel, Jon Reed, CEO at Paddy & Scotts, Rob Flinter, General Manager at Park Plaza London Waterloo and Simon Numphud, Managing Director at AA Hotel Services.

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