GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition students at Brooke Weston Academy were given a masterclass in producing restaurant quality food by an award-winning team at a local pub.
The owner and a team of chefs from the Tollemache Arms in Harrington worked all day and into the evening with students to prepare, serve and clear a three course dinner for more than 50 guests. The students were involved in all aspects of the food preparation and it gave them a real insight into what a busy day in the hospitality industry entails.
The dishes included butternut squash and mozzarella arancini for starters followed by Meditteranean spiced chicken with aubergine puree, charred courgette and red pepper and chorizo sweet potato mash. The vegetarian option was feta and harissa filo parcel with aubergine puree and griddle courgettes. Dessert was a rhubarb and ginger tart with orange cream, candied zest and sloe gin syrup. Guests paid a voluntary donation for their meals and the total of £1137.20 will be split between The Anthony Nolan Fund and Lakelands Hospice.
Joe Buckley, the owner of the Tollemache Arms, said: ‘We run a programme called Hospitality Heroes where we go into local schools as we are trying to get kids excited about food. I did a lot of cooking as a child and this is about promoting the hospitality industry as a career. I have owned the pub for four and a half years and we have won a couple of national and local awards.
‘We set ourselves a challenge of could we take students and make a pop up restaurant. We have done it at six or seven different schools before,so it is about going in and inspiring kids. The students have been good. It is always an eye opener to meet those children who are excited about food and to see that spark in them. They will plate everything up in front of family, friends and school teachers so that is when the pressure really hits home and you see their characters come out.’
Vince Eaves, area chef for four pubs said: ‘The hardest thing for them will be working a very long day as we will be working until nine or ten in the evening.’
Food technology teacher Natasha Chiremba said: ‘This was an amazing opportunity for our GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition students to really experience the pressure of preparing a huge amount of food for an event. They did so well working together as a team and making sure that everything was professionally prepared and exquisitely presented. I’d really like to thank the team at the Tollemache Arms who gave up their time and expertise to encourage the next generation of food professionals.’
Principal Pete Kirkbride said: ‘I am so proud of our students. They produced exceptional food and worked tirelessly throughout the day to ensure that our guests had a fantastic bistro experience. Thanks also to Natasha and food technician Denise Dryburgh who worked so hard to make this event a huge success.’