College celebrated as exemplary employer

Catering learners from Coleg y Cymoedd have been given the unique experience of an ice sculpting master class from the experts.

Twelve learners on a Level 3 Professional Cookery course at the Ystrad Mynach campus learnt to carve swans out of blocks of ice as part of a demonstration and hands on workshop from specialists The Ice Academy.

The Ice Academy‘s other clients include Mercedes-Benz, the Celtic Manor, Lloyds Bank and John Lewis. Their television experiences include Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience, BBC Sports, Football Focus, Scrum V and The One Show.

The learners watched and replicated a block of ice being carefully chiselled into a swan with small hand tools. They undertook the process stage by stage with careful monitoring and comparison to the demonstration.

The learners worked in pairs and created six realistic swan sculptures in just three and a half hours. The impressive ice swans were proudly displayed for guests at Scholars restaurant.

31 year old Laurajean Turk from Blackwood who studies Level 3 Professional Cookery said: I have never experienced anything like this before and I really enjoyed it. Using chisels on something so delicate made you slow down and concentrate, really improving your skills”.

James Lewis, (17) from Treharris said “The ice sculpturing activity gave us the opportunity to do something not many people have done; it improved our steady hand skills. We are very proud of what we achieved and will be using the finished sculpture for a buffet presentation in the future “.

Laura Giles Owner of the Ice Academy said: “We were really impressed with the learners and the level of concentration they applied to this extremely challenging activity”.

Head of Catering at Coleg y Cymoedd Paula Marsh said: “Ice sculpting is a brilliant opportunity for the learners to explore their creative side and gain experience in working three-dimensionally. This sort of experience is really valuable for those in the catering industry as it could be applied to other forms such as fat carving and fruit carving.”

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