For many students, it is hard to afford a college education. It is especially hard if it involves living far from home, piling the cost of digs and food onto those horrifying future debts. When colleges set up campus in areas accessible to families of moderate means, it is something to be applauded.
Coventry University was conscious of this concern from the start and designed the courses at its new Dagenham enterprise to fit flexibly into the lives of new students, many of whom will have to simultaneously work to finance their studies.
In the words of vice-chancellor Andy Ginn, the same considerations went into the decision to award its catering contract to Cristina Bumbuc, a Barking restaurateur.
Civic Centre revamp
The grade II listed building underwent a £4.5m redevelopment to convert it into a state-of-the-art teaching facility with generous catering and relaxation spaces.
Cristina’s will provide a rotating menu of hot breakfasts and lunches and a range of fresh sandwiches and beverages across the site. A pop-up restaurant is planned to cover the evenings, with special dining facilities available at Christmas.
The vision of making the college work seamlessly with the everyday lives of its students extends to avoiding any separation from the local community. Members of the public will have access to the college, including its catering facilities.
Back in Barking, Cristina’s provides a range of Rumanian cuisine but is also billed as a steakhouse. Superlative reviews suggest it succeeds at both.
Excelling at steak and serving an exotic range at the same time is quite a challenge. It takes a good grill to cook a good steak, and an even better one to scale it up when success knocks at the door. Commercial kitchen equipment and reliable catering supplies from companies such 247cateringsupplies.co.uk are essential investments.
In addition to its new contract with CU London and successful Barking restaurant, Cristina’s is often asked to provide its wares at external events. Busy years lie ahead.