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Former Catering student made Head Chef at 23

5 May 2015

Former City College Brighton and Hove Catering student Dan Cotton has been made Head Chef at popular Sussex pub The Crabtree Inn at the age of just 23.

The pub, in the pretty village of Lower Beeding near Horsham, has been building up an excellent local reputation in recent times with rave reviews on Trip Advisor and an ever-growing customer-base. Dan, who was one of three grand finalists in the Sussex Young Chef of the Year competition earlier this year, says:

Dan Cotton and Kelly-Louise Smith

Dan Cotton and Kelly-Louise Smith

This is a fantastic opportunity for me because the management at The Crabtree are so supportive and itís just a great business to be part of. The main challenge is taking on the responsibility of managing eight staff and getting my ideas across to them but we already work very well together and Iím confident that Iíll go from strength to strength in this role.

Talking of the contribution City College made to his progress, Dan adds:

'If it hadnít been for the time I spent learning the fundamentals of cooking at City College, I wouldnít have been able to develop as a chef and reach the standards demanded by this role. The College has the best training facilities around for young chefs and I really enjoyed my time there.'

Coinciding with Danís appointment, The Crabtree Inn has also taken on a young apprentice, Kelly-Louise Smith (17), with the support of City Collegeís Apprenticeship Team. Kelly says:

In the past I always struggled to find things that I enjoyed and could stick with but when I discovered Catering, I really took to it and found my direction. I get a lot of good feedback about the quality of my work and feel I can go far in this industry.

If youíre interested in apprenticeships, contact City Collegeís Apprenticeship team on 01273 667 770 or email

For more information on Catering courses at City College, contact course information on 01273 667759, email or see
For City College media enquiries, please call Brian Bell, Marketing Communications Officer, on 01273 667788 Ext. 488 or email website