There was nothing half-baked about the good advice an award-winning former catering student gave to the next generation of learners at Gateshead College.

Catherine Smith, who was Gateshead College Student of the Year in 2013, secured the role of pastry commis chef at London’s prestigious Ritz Hotel after passing a level two course in professional cookery in June last year.

The 29-year-old showed current catering students how to make tasty pastry treats during her return to the college. The learners also quizzed her on preparation and cooking techniques, food hygiene, and key attributes needed to impress employers in the hospitality and catering industry.

She said: “It’s amazing to be able to go back to college. If I can help just one person to get a job in these difficult economic times, it will have been worthwhile.”