After graduating from Cambridge Regional College (CRC) and pursuing their respective careers, former Catering and Hospitality students, Bradley Dorrington, Polly Sizer and Jacob Slater have come back together to form the management and catering team in the newly opened MJP Restaurant in Fen Ditton, MJP@The Shepherds.
Having studied to Level 3 in Hospitality, Bradley and Polly progressed onto the Concord Hotel Management Programme, which saw them gain real-life operational experience in a variety of hotels across the country, while Jacob started his career in the industry as Chef de Partie in a Cambridge based restaurant. All three were on course to take the industry by storm.
While studying with CRC, Bradley was introduced to Chef, Mark Poynton, during a Catering competition event, where industry experts mentor and inspire the next generation of professionals. Six years later, in March 2020, Bradley was recruited by Mark as General Manager for MJP Cambridge, where they were in residence as a restaurant café.
Unfortunately, soon after Bradley had started in his new role the restaurant in Cambridge was forced to close as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across England. In spite of the restrictions, Bradley and Mark began their search for a new venue, securing a space in the village of Fen Ditton, where they proceeded with a full refurbishment creating MJP@The Shepherds, a restaurant, lounge and rooms serving simple, accessible dishes using locally sourced vegetables and British meat and fish.
Once the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, Bradley began a recruitment process to identify a competent, reliable team for the restaurant, including an Assistant Manager and Senior Chef de Partie. Using his industry connections and social media, Bradley reached out to his network attracting significant interest, including that of Polly and Jacob, who were subsequently hired. The newly formed team of five is now made up of three Cambridge Regional College graduates who are taking on the catering and hospitality world, alongside Executive Chef and owner, Mark Poynton, in this new venture.
Bradley said, “If it wasn’t for CRC pointing me in the right direction and introducing me to so many industry contacts I wouldn’t be where I am today. Finding myself in a position of being able to recruit, I reached out to my network of contacts and was fortunate enough to receive interest from two professionals that had also studied with CRC. The positive experience I have had with CRC extends beyond the time that I studied with them and I look forward to continuing to support them, and the next generation of learners, in the future.”