Spotlight on: Lucy Bell, Sessions House, Lincoln
Following on for our look into higher education's role in growing the visitor economy, we speak with Lucy, one of the budding Level 3 professional cookery students training at Lincoln’s fine dining hidden gem, Sessions House Restaurant at Lincoln College.
So, Lucy, tell us all about why you got involved with Sessions House…
“I love food and all that comes with it; making something delicious and having everyone enjoy it. After leaving school sixth form I was unsure and indecisive about what I wanted to do or be, but I knew I loved cooking and exploring new foods, especially in lockdown! I looked into Lincoln College and decided that a culinary course was what I wanted to do. I have always been inspired by quirky restaurants I’ve been to and would love to have my own restaurant in the future based around travel, delicious food, fun times with friends and family and a unique experience for everyone.”
How did you discover your love of food? Did someone teach you about cooking?
“I’ve always loved cooking and I believe my passion started when my mother had an operation and couldn’t manage to lift a kettle. I took it upon myself to learn how to cook as I was clueless but needed to help. I explored different recipes, and I loved making new dishes and recreating old ones with a new twist. I’m a very keen home cook and believe I don’t have a signature dish as such, more a style. For example, I can make something out of nothing, my house is filled with random ingredients which are great for experimenting and my imagination has no limits, so I just let myself go with the flow.
"Within the food industry, I’ve had varied experiences so far. I look forward to growing and finding out what I enjoy and finding my niche. I’ve always wanted to run a restaurant myself however I’m not quite ready to do that just yet and would love to gain experiences from around the world, within the food industry, and see new cultures for inspiration.
"At the moment I am enjoying spicy foods and dining out with my family. I love Lincoln and its cobbled streets, and you just can’t beat a proper Lincolnshire sausage sandwich!”
Can you tell us more about Sessions House and how the general public can get involved?
“Sessions House is a great fine dining experience within the heart of Lincoln. Every single amateur chef in the kitchen puts their heart and soul into each dish using quality products and processes to make delicious food. Each of us has an individual style that we are developing through every experience we have. It’s a great price to try such cuisine with excellent value for money.
"To find out about the upcoming menus and openings be sure to follow us on Facebook @SessionsRestaurant. We are situated on the Lincoln College site on Monks Road and are usually open for lunchtime service Monday to Friday and dinner service on Wednesdays. You can expect a 3-course tasting menu for just £22 - a perfect budget-friendly date night idea! Service opens at 6pm, with the last orders taken at 7pm. Spaces are of course limited, so please book by calling 01522 876343.
"The college kitchen is due to be updated and ready for a new opening around February 2023 – with a chance of a chef's table around the kitchen and Michelin Star chef James Mackenzie from the Pipe and Glass in attendance! There will be a renovation of the kitchen with all new appliances, much more space and new equipment. One idea is to have a glass screening so the restaurant can see into the kitchen and see the chefs cooking – so watch this space!”
Wow Lucy, that all sounds amazing! Definitely putting Lincoln on the map.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
“If I could cook for anyone in the whole world it would be JLo or Beyoncé. I know, not a world-class chef but they are very inspiring, and I bet they have eaten in plenty of world-class restaurants. Cooking isn’t just about the food to me, it’s about the experience too, flavours, colours, textures and the restaurant premises and atmosphere. I believe a meal should be enjoyed in great company and not eaten quickly and rushed.”
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Lucy! We can't wait to try Sessions House. All the very best with your food journey. You can catch up with the budding young chefs at Lincoln Lion's Feed the 5000 event on November 5th at the Cornhill.