Three former students who are now culinary stars in their own right returned to college to help prepare a selection of amazing dishes for The Gallery Restaurant’s Fine Dining Evening.

During his time at college Ben Clark, who is now the Head Chef at The White Horse in Baston, completed work experience at AA Rosette and Michelin Star Restaurants. He then joined the air force as a professional chef and cooked for the queen and a host of VIPs.

Ben said, “More than ever we need trainee chefs to progress in the industry. There is more of a shortage than there needs to be.”

He plans to push his menus at The White Horse and aim for AA rosettes; his restaurant is currently nominated to go in to the AA Restaurant Guide.

When describing his college experience Ben said, “To be honest, I wasn’t great at school, but when I came to college I was studying what I wanted to do so I excelled in both theory and practical and I still use the skills I learnt now”.

Whilst Michael Laing, Head Chef at Stamford Garden Centre and Shaun Mason, Head Chef at The Angel in South Witham, were at New College Stamford they undertook work experience at The Ritz in London!

Fresh out of college, Pastry Chef Shaun went to work for Rick Stein for a summer season and then progressed to Buckingham Palace for 4 years where he catered for The Queen, The Royal Wedding of Kate and William and even President Obama!

He now owns his own pub/restaurant and plays the role of both Landlord and Head Chef. Shaun’s next steps are to take his pastry down under and hopefully make a name for himself in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Good luck Shaun!

When asked what advice he would give someone thinking about a career in Catering and Hospitality Michael said, “Get as much experience as you can! The college helped me get a part time job as well as providing me with amazing experiences such as the Ritz which gives you more insight into the industry.”

If you dream of becoming a culinary icon like Shaun, Ben and Michael, New College Stamford provides you with the skills and hands-on experience in our industry standard kitchens and onsite restaurant, The Gallery.

To find out more about Catering and Hospitality courses click here, call 01780 484311 or email

Culinary Stars Return to Host Fine Dining Evening at New College Stamford

From L-R Shaun Mason, Michael Laing and Ben Clark return to New College Stamford to host Fine Dining Evening

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