Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Study in Good Food

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Study in Good Food

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Ord

Segedunum Restaurant,

North Tyneside College,

Embelton Avenue,

Tel. (0191) 229 5000, ext. 5237

It had recipe for disaster written all over it. Not only was I taking my mother-in-law out for dinner, I was taking her to be a culinary guinea pig for catering students at North Tyneside College.

It's a scenario that could cause ructions in less forgiving households. Fortunately, I am blessed with a mother-in-law who not only tolerates me but actually appears to like me (either that or she hides her irritation well ( unlike her daughter).

She also happens to be the best cook I know and therefore the perfect guest to accompany me on this college version of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen.

The restaurant is on the fourth floor of the college and is open every Thursday evening to allow students to test out their cooking on the public (any problems and the college also runs nursing courses on the first floor).

We arrived on a French themed night. I had half-expected to find the staff decked out in berets, strings of onions round their necks and accompanied by the wails of an accordion. But the only hint of a French evening were the red, white and blue streamers across the ceiling and, of course, the menu.

The restaurant is essentially a big classroom attached to the catering school kitchens but every effort has been made to give it a restaurant feel. It has a fully licensed bar, classical music piped through the speakers and tasteful artworks (in this case all produced by students) hang on the walls. The lighting is suitably subdued (no harsh college canteen lighting here) and the staff, all students, are smartly turned out and especially eager to please.

Before service, I was granted a sneak preview of behind the scenes. It did look like the working environment of Hell's Kitchen but there was no ranting Gordon Ramsay. In fact, it was all disappointingly sedate and full of faces concentrating over big pots. Well, at least they were taking things seriously.

The food, however, was a far livelier affair.

The French language is a beautiful thing, but the salad de cresson au LARD, which featured on the starter list, sounded far better in English: watercress salad with bacon. …

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