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College's head of hotel, hair and beauty school steps down after 25 years

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:21 23 August 2018

City College's Steve Thorpe at the launch event of the 2012 Norfolk Food and Drink Festival. Photo: Steve Adams

City College's Steve Thorpe at the launch event of the 2012 Norfolk Food and Drink Festival. Photo: Steve Adams

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He has helped thousands of people launch their careers in the hospitality industry, served the Queen afternoon tea and judged many culinary competitions.

Judges, from left, Joe Mulhall, Martin Colley, and Steve Thorpe, at the Chef of the Year competition for the Food and Drink Awards 2018. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJudges, from left, Joe Mulhall, Martin Colley, and Steve Thorpe, at the Chef of the Year competition for the Food and Drink Awards 2018. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But now, after 25 years, Steve Thorpe is hanging up his apron and leaving City College Norwich’s School of Hotel, Hair and Beauty to pursue other passions within the hospitality and tourism sector.

Mr Thorpe joined City College in 1993 as head of the college’s Hotel, Hair and Beauty School after leaving a catering role within the Army.

He left his role at the college this week after a quarter of a century.

Mr Thorpe was made redundant and the 60-year-old said: “I’m moving on to my third career, working to promote hospitality, tourism and leisure both locally and nationally.

The Norwich Food and Drink Festival. Steve Thorpe (left) and Charlie Hodson giving a cookery demo. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Norwich Food and Drink Festival. Steve Thorpe (left) and Charlie Hodson giving a cookery demo. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“Things move on and around. It was time for me look at something else. I’m looking at it as an opportunity. Many organisations change and their structures change and things happen so I’m being honest with people.”

Mr Thorpe said he was looking forward to being able to spend more time with his family and pursue a better work-life balance: “I’ve had some great opportunities [at City College], twice I’ve done garden parties for Her Majesty The Queen at Sandringham, catering for 5,000 guests, relocating Debut Restaurant to the Norfolk Show Ground and being involved with lots of activities and competitions such as Norfolk Food and Drink.”

Mr Thorpe reflected on the number of students who had passed through City College’s doors while he was head of the hotel school and said there wasn’t a restaurant in Norfolk where he didn’t know a former student.

“There are almost 18,000 young people in the hospitality community and most of them I have had an influence on,” he added.

Steve Thorpe.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYSteve Thorpe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Corrienne Peasgood, principal at City College said: “Steve has made an immense contribution to City College Norwich, our students, and the hospitality and catering sector.

“His commitment to placing employers at the heart of how we prepare young people for the world of work has been a key factor in the hotel school’s deserved reputation for excellence.

“Steve moves on from City College Norwich with all of our very best wishes.”

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