Anthony Gascoigne is Course Team Leader of Hospitality and Catering at North Hertfordshire College.

Having worked in the food industry for 25 years Anthony brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. He is also Times Educational Supplement 2021 FE teacher of the year, Craft Guild of Chefs Culinary Hero 2021 and 2022, and Craft Guilds Chef Lecturer Award nominee. Here Anthony answers questions about his work at North Hertfordshire College...

The Comet: Hospitality and Catering student at North Herts CollegeHospitality and Catering student at North Herts College (Image: SUPPLIED)

What did you used to do before joining North Hertfordshire College?

I started my culinary career as a student chef at Scarborough TEC. After graduating I worked with Michelin Star chef Andrew Pern at the Michelin starred, Star Inn at Harome. I then decided to travel and worked in Sydney Australia and a period in St Jean de Luze in the South West of France. After a diagnosis of epilepsy I made the decision to transfer to culinary education. That way I was able to still practice the profession I am passionate about but develop a new skill set in teaching.

The Comet: Hospitality and Catering student at North Herts CollegeHospitality and Catering student at North Herts College (Image: SUPPLIED)

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I had the desire to pass on the knowledge and skills I acquired in industry. I recognised there was a need for the development of young chefs to support them into employment.

What makes the Hart Kitchens a good place to train?

The combination of high quality teaching and industrial experience ensures the best possible outcomes for learners. We have a strong emphasis on competition work which prepares the students for the world of work and develops resilience and the competitive nature required to thrive in hospitality. I have a genuine passion for my craft and foster the same spirit with my students.

The Comet: Anthony with some of his studentsAnthony with some of his students (Image: SUPPLIED)

What do you enjoy most about working at the college?

The students! The opportunity to work with young people taking their first steps into hospitality and seeing them develop, gain confidence and progress into employment. I have ex students who have gone on to become head chefs in reputable places who now come back into the college to talk with the students and do demonstrations. That cycle of training is immensely satisfying.

What do you believe makes a good chef?

The willingness to work hard with passion and enthusiasm. Skills can be learnt but a good attitude is essential.

How do the courses prepare students for the world of work?

Everything I do with the students is about preparation for employment of next steps. When I am planning sessions I am doing it with one mind on the students progression not just the following year but 3, 5, 10 years down the line.

I engage with numerous industry professionals from Michelin star chefs, celebrity chefs and businesses such as Riso Gallo, Italian rice company, Cyrus Todiwala and Andrew Pern. The links and relationships created ensure our students have the best possible college experience and post college opportunities.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is thinking of studying at NHC, what would it be?

My advice would be if you want high level training, tailor made experiences, introductions to employers and chefs then North Herts College is for you.

Why do you think the courses at NHC are a good choice for students?

The courses offer a rich and broad experience of the industry. On top of that we enrich the courses with a balance of exposure to industry professionals, industrial visits and competition work which prepare the students for their next steps.

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