A TOWN college is celebrating after becoming the first in the South to receive the coveted Craft Guild of Chefs accreditation.

To pass, lecturers and learners at Eastleigh College were carefully observed and monitored during training sessions, with an inspection of the college's East Avenue restaurant and individual interviews also on the itinerary.

Established in 1965, the Craft Guild of Chefs is the leading Chefs' association in the UK with over 1200 members and 100 business partners.

Members are situated across the world and in every continent significantly enhancing career prospects for learners and helping to define their future career paths.

Greg Cheeseman, Hospitality Lecturer at Eastleigh College, said: “We are thrilled to be awarded the Craft Guild of Chefs accreditation, it is an excellent achievement for our students and staff.

"This cements the hard work our students put into their training, their education and running East Avenue Restaurant.

"We are delighted to be the first college in the South of England to achieve accreditation.”

The accreditation can only be accomplished by meeting the high standards and criteria laid out by the Craft Guild of Chefs association.

Sue Lyons, Hospitality Lead at Eastleigh College, added: “It has been a tough and demanding 18 months for the hospitality industry and the challenges have been felt by both tutors and learners.

"This accreditation is a great recognition for all the hard work, passion and commitment demonstrated by the department to deliver high standards of food and service in line with industry demand.

"We hope to use the Craft Guild of Chefs to further develop our enrichment opportunities for our learners and create new partnerships that will inspire them to continue in this career.”