The doors were reopened at The Glasshouse, Darlington College’s restaurant and training kitchens which have been closed for months following a fire.
Commandant of the School of Infantry, Catterick Garrison, Colonel Peter Stitt cut the ribbon before a variety of dignitaries and members of the local business community enjoyed a three course lunch.
In reception, welcoming guests to the new-look restaurant, is a metal mannequin made by engineering students from catering equipment damaged in the fire.
Col Stitt said: “It is a privilege to open these brilliant new facilities. The partnership we have with Darlington College is really beneficial to us and we are looking forward to developing this further in the future.”
Principal Kate Roe said: “The new restaurant and kitchens look spectacular and I am delighted so many partner organisations have joined us to sample the menu at the launch today.”
Guests enjoyed a three course lunch of salmon coulibiac, spring loin of lamb and strawberry gateaux prepared and served by Level 2 and 3 NVQ professional cookery students.
They included Kieran Snee, Stephen and Kieran Harper, Riley Steptoe, Jade Fenton, Ayse Hill and Sarah Hodgson.
Tutor Louise Warren-Temple said: “The students have spent most of their year in temporary kitchens and restaurant and have done an incredible job in difficult conditions. It was challenging, particularly over the winter, but they battled on and we were really appreciative of our regulars who supported us throughout.
“The new kitchens and restaurant are absolutely fabulous and it already feels like we have never been away.”