Last week, Inox Equip got to see the fruition of its efforts on another high profile project with the official unveiling of the Claire Clark Academy at Milton Keynes College.
Opened by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, the first dedicated patisserie academy in the UK realises a joint ambition of both patisserie consultant and pastry chef Clark and the college to nurture the next generation of pastry chefs.
Buckingham-based Inox Equip was a central part of this project. The distributor first became involved with Clark and her team when Rational introduced them to consult on Clark’s patisserie service Pretty Sweet’s new CPU outfit in Park Royal. This project won Inox Equip the 2017 CEDA Customer Service Award.
As director, Mark Kendall, detailed: “At this time we were made aware of Claire’s long term vision of opening a dedicated Patisserie Academy. An opportunity then arose for Claire at Milton Keynes College and the journey began.”
Clark and her long term colleague Andrea Ruff initiated the brief and gained many sponsors to help equip the state of the art facility at the college. Kendall detailed: “We rallied all the manufacturers together and set about designing the Academy with Claire, together with other sponsors from the wider industry.”
These included: Rondo, Newell Rubbermaid, Gram, Signature FSE, Rational, Winterhalter, Celltherm Coldrooms, Induced Energy, Carpigiani, Keylink, Callebaut, Ponthier, Russums, Restaurant Associates, Lexington, Marks & Spencer, Dr Oetker, Monkhouse Food & Drink, and a grant from the Savoy Educational Trust.
Inox Equip was involved all the way through the process from consultancy to the shell and core fit, fabrication design, walls, floors, ceilings, installation and liaising with the equipment sponsors.
Kendall concluded: “Once finalised, the full build was 6 weeks, culminating in a fantastic opening evening with friends colleagues and business leaders putting the Academy firmly on the culinary map.”
Clark explained her excitement about seeing her plan come to life: “This Centre of Patisserie Excellence truly has been created and supported by the industry for the industry. There are many of us who passionately want to see the skills that we learnt, continue to be used in kitchens across the UK. We had to find a way to pass these on – and Milton Keynes College has had the vision to realise that this is needed. Students will leave the college, not only with their professional qualification – but with the added accreditation from the Claire Clark Academy; something that we are working hard to ensure is highly recognised and respected, with chefs understanding the skills that the students will have acquired to achieve this.”
The doors will open to the first intake of college students in September 2017. The Claire Clark Academy will also offer one day, evening and weekend courses for home bakers and professionals.