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Ernst Gets Creative With L20 Hotel School Students

SOUTH African born chef Ernst Van Zyl was the latest talent to excite students at Hugh Baird College’s L20 Hotel School recently when he played guest chef for the evening.

Ernst owns, runs and cooks at The Lord Clyde in Kerridge, the only pub in Cheshire to hold three AA rosettes and one of only four North West properties to be included in the Top 50 UK Gastropub’s list 2016.  Ernst and business partner Sarah have also recently acquired two new properties in Macclesfield – The Hanging Gate Inn in Higher Sutton and The Knott Inn in Rushton Spencer.

Ernst’s culinary background is not short of career highlights, spending time at world acclaimed The Fat Duck and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quattre Saison.  More locally, Ernst was the head chef at Manchester’s Etrop Grange before opening The Lord Clyde in 2014.

Ernst worked with 20 students to prepare and serve a five-course dinner for 56 guests at the College’s L20 Restaurant, L20 Hotel School Curriculum Coordinator for Hospitality and Catering, Mark Amesbury, said:  “For young, aspiring chefs, the skills and knowledge they gain from an opportunity like this is invaluable.  Ernst really put them through their paces and inspired them too with some very interesting presentation and flavour combinations.  We’re extremely grateful to Ernst for spending time with the students and creating a spectacular menu for our guests too.”

Ernst Van Zyl said: “Throughout my career I’ve been given the opportunity to work at some truly wonderful places and with some very inspiring chefs.  The L20 School is providing brilliant opportunities for aspiring chefs to do the same and I was only too happy to help.  The students showed great technique and dedication and I was very impressed.”

The L20 Hotel School forms part of one of the UK’s first Hospitality and Visitor Economy Career Colleges for 14-19 year olds, in partnership with the Career College Trust.  The facility offers students both academic and practical preparation for the world of work within the Hospitality and Visitor Economy industries, both areas of huge employment growth in the Liverpool City Region.  As well as inspiring young people to begin a career in the vibrant hospitality and catering industry, L20 Hotel School also links with the Hugh Baird University Centre to offer a Foundation Degree in Hospitality and the Visitor Economy, validated by the University of Central Lancashire, allowing those already working in the industry the chance to take their skills and knowledge to the next level.

If you would like to find out more about the courses on offer at the L20 Hotel School or the Hugh Baird University Centre, visit


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