The prestigious Tante Marie Culinary Academy recently unveiled the school’s much-anticipated training restaurant ‘The Restaurant at Tante Marie’.
Located on the ground floor of Tante Marie’s new state-of-the-art premises in central Woking, The Restaurant – which opened its doors on 2nd April 2015 – is staffed by graduates of the culinary academy’s highly acclaimed Cordon Bleu Diploma, who are studying for their Level 5 Hospitality Management qualification.
Serving a selection of classical British and European favourites with a contemporary twist, The Restaurant at Tante Marie is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week as well as offering a pre-theatre/cinema menu and brunch on the weekends. Diners can tuck into mouth-watering dishes including shallot and thyme tarte tatin and roasted beef fillet with broccoli and shallot potato hash with herb dressing and red wine sauce. A spacious outdoor terrace provides a popular spot for an alfresco lunch in the sunshine.
The Restaurant at Tante Marie is overseen by newly appointed Restaurant Operations Manager, Marco Di Michele along with Head Chef Sue-Lee Jones, a former pupil and teacher at the Academy. With a wealth of industry experience, Marco manages operations for the fully-functioning training restaurant, as well as the delivery of a brand new professional qualification, the ‘CTH Level 5 Diploma in Culinary and Hospitality Management’.
Marco comes from a strong culinary background, heavily influenced by his Italian heritage. He ran his own very successful establishment for eight years, the ‘local institution’ and popular Trevi Restaurant in West Byfleet which he sold in 2012. Marco’s comprehensive experience combined with his Masters in Hotel & Restaurant Management establishes him as an inspirational leader for the graduates of Tante Marie’s Cordon Bleu Diploma as they make the transition into The Restaurant at Tante Marie.
Commenting on his appointment, Marco said: “I was thrilled to join the highly regarded Tante Marie Culinary Academy at this exciting time.
“I was particularly excited about launching the daily specials menu which offers diners a limited number of dishes that have been created by the current Cordon Bleu students that day. This provides a unique insight into the extremely high standard of cooking taking place in the first floor teaching kitchens. The dishes on offer depend on the day’s syllabus and include anything from a carefully crafted amuse bouche, fragrant soup, perfectly constructed pie or delicate soufflé.”
Working alongside Marco in The Restaurant at Tante Marie is Head Chef Sue-Lee Jones, responsible for providing the students with the essential practical knowledge and skills required to oversee a successful kitchen. Sue-Lee brings extensive experience at the highest level including head chef role for the hospitality division at McLaren Technology Centre where she was part of the leading events design and caterer, Absolute Taste.
The Restaurant at Tante Marie is staffed by some of the Academy’s finest alumni. Marco and Sue-Lee are supported by Assistant Restaurant Manager, Alex Roberts and Sous Chef Gerhard van Zyl Du Plessis, another graduate of the Academy’s famous Cordon Bleu Diploma. Both Alex and Gerhard bring extensive industry leadership experience to the team. The Restaurant at Tante Marie also welcomes back Oliver Gross, who has spent the last three years working at award-winning restaurant The Artichoke in Amersham, as well as Adam Byatt’s Trinity Restaurant and Bistro Union, and Biddi Button, who graduated from Tante Marie in 2010 and has since run her own successful catering business.