Top micro-vegetables passes on nuggets of knowledge to Hartlepool students

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College students got first-hand knowledge from an industry expert.

Hospitality and catering students at Hartlepool College of Further Education were given a special flavour of the world of cookery when they received a special talk by Franck Pontais, innovation and development chef for leading company Koppert Cress UK.

KoppertCress produce innovative micro-vegetables, cresses and speciality ingredients for the International Gastronomy industry.

Operating from Rotterdam in Holland, the company’s products are used some of the most famous chefs, restaurants, hotels and food producers around the world to create amazing flavours in their food.

Franck is well-travelled and respected and has previously worked as the Executive Chef at places including Harrods and Selfridges, and is the author of several books. His reputation is so high that he has been sought out to run hospitality events by celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

A college spokesman said he shared his background with the students and explained how his company develop and produce the plants. Regarding success in the competitive world of high-level food, he reiterated the importance of three things: respect, hard work and enjoyment for everything that you do.

He then introduced the students first-hand to an amazing selection of micro herbs and vegetables, where they participated in a taste test and quickly realised that not everything is as it seems.

From herbs such as micro basil to the more extravagant of Blinq Blossom, the students found the experience intriguing, exciting and sometimes surprising.

Hospitality and catering lecturer Kevin Dove said “We encourage all our students to develop their palates, discover more about the potential of flavour, and learn about combinations of flavour.

“Knowledge of ingredients is a key component of this, and experience like today offers them not only a chance to learn first-hand, but also gain from the vast experience of one of the culinary world’s top names.”