Chef and hospitality graduates marched past cheering students banging pots and pans as they celebrated their success at Westminster Kingsway College.
Around 200 students and apprentices donned in mortar boards and gowns were awarded in front of teachers, staff, parents and guests at ceremonies at the college’s Victoria Centre.
They received diplomas for completing courses and apprenticeship training in culinary arts, kitchen and larder, hospitality and events, patisserie and restaurant service.
Both the classes of 2021 and 2020 were honoured at separate ceremonies after last year’s graduation was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.
Scrolls were presented by Assistant Principal Terry Tinton, Paul Jervis, Head of School for Hospitality and Culinary Arts and Sharon Barry, Head of School for Hospitality Apprenticeships.
Awards were also presented to the best and most improved graduates of 2021 including the Student of the Year on Professional Chef, Pastry Chef and Restaurant Service diplomas.
Daniela Prela, 21, won the Professional Chef Diploma Student of the Year award and has been working at The Ritz London for the past two months.
She said: “I’ve taken so much from my time at WestKing. Every day I am using skills and bits of knowledge I’ve learned at college. I was edging towards university, but it wasn’t where my heart was and I’m glad I took this route. It was definitely the right decision.”
The ceremonies saw professional chefs Ben Purton, Daniel Ayton, Selin Kiazim, Ben Murphy and Andrew Wong each receive an Honorary Fellowship of Westminster Kingsway College.
The tradition of banging pots and pans was introduced by Deputy Executive Principal Gary Hunter when he was Head of School as a way of welcoming graduates into the alumni.
Speaking at both ceremonies, he said: “To all our graduates I would like to convey my warmest congratulations on what is a brilliant personal achievement. I hope that you have fully enjoyed your time at the college and will profit from your experience and training here in the years to come.”