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Thomas secures coveted role at Liverpool’s renowned restaurant: The Art School

Hugh Baird College is celebrating the achievement of Thomas Downey, a graduate of its L20 Hotel School, who secured a front-of-house position at the distinguished The Art School Restaurant soon after completing his Level 3 Hospitality and Catering course.

The Art School Restaurant is housed in a restored Victorian building, formerly the Liverpool College of Art, in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter. It is renowned for its innovative and creative cuisine, crafted by award-winning Chef Paul Askew. The restaurant showcases the finest seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers and artisans and is complemented by an extensive wine list featuring selections from around the world.

Paul Askew, Chef Patron of The Art School Restaurant, Liverpool said:

“I was delighted to do a guest Chef dinner at L20 earlier in the year and of course when I got the chance to work with the talent of the future, I was always hoping to meet someone with genuine passion and desire to do the job. On this night I was not disappointed. Tom worked not just with the guests but also with his colleagues I knew straight away we would be offering him a trial at the Art School. Tom came in for a trial and I offered him a full-time job as he fitted in so well with the team. He is a credit to himself, and the college and I know we will turn him into a senior member of the team in the near future.”

Before completing his course, Thomas took part in a three-week work experience placement in Seville, Spain and achieved several accolades whilst studying at the college. He secured the runner-up position in the ACF Association Culinaire Française competition, reached the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or semi-finals, and was awarded ‘Student of the Year’ at Hugh Baird College’s Student Awards.

Steven Otty, Curriculum Manager – Catering Floristry and Travel at Hugh Baird College, said:

“Thomas was an inspiring student at the L20 Hotel School, admired for his commitment to excellence. We are thrilled that he has secured a position at The Art School and have no doubt that he will continue to excel in his career. Congratulations, Thomas!”

“I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Chef Askew for recognising Thomas’s potential and offering him this wonderful opportunity. We are excited to continue our partnership with Paul and The Art School, providing more opportunities for our students to learn and grow in a world-class culinary environment.”

Thomas said:

“I have accomplished so much during my time studying Hospitality and Catering. Hugh Baird College has allowed me to express my passion, and I am so grateful for all the support and guidance I have received from my tutors.”

Those wishing to find out more about the College’s L20 Hotel School can do so via their website at