On Thursday 17th October 2019, pupils studying for the GCSE in Food Preparation & Nutrition undertook training with the Royal Navy Catering Team.
Fifty pupils took part in catering demonstrations and challenges set by the catering team. Kim and Jamie, who work for the Royal Navy, explained their roles on board ship and land. They started with a demonstration of a high-level dish. This experience was invaluable, as the team were demonstrating skills that our pupils need for their non-examined assessment and portfolio of work. On the menu for the first lesson was stuffed chicken cooked sous vide, then pan-fried with asparagus, served with boulangère potatoes.
Following the demonstrations, pupils in year 10 took part in a ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ challenge, where they had to plan, prepare and make a two course meal using a set amount of ingredients. The pupils worked in mixed teams to work out what they could produce. This was an excellent teamwork challenge as some students used their skills learnt at home, like making pasta and some used the recipes they had learnt in school. An extra challenge was presented to them, where each team were given one further ingredient to use. This ranged from chocolate brioche to puff pastry and the teams had to ensure this ingredient was used to maximise their preparation and presentation skills. The class worked so well together, listening and learning to each other and the chefs. The dishes they produced were high level and well presented and we were all very impressed. They all tasted each other’s dishes and gave mature and positive feedback.
Finally, a mixed group of pupils in years 10 and 11 took part in a cooking lesson. The ingredients were provided to create a Spanish paella and they all learnt how to make this traditional dish. They all worked really well, lots of information was given to them, which they took on board and again produced outstanding results. Everyone could take home a portion of paella home for their tea.
I was incredibly proud of the way the pupils worked and behaved in front of the visitors. Jamie and Kim were also very impressed with the positive energy and skills demonstrated during every session. There were many intelligent and respectful questions about the roles in the Royal Navy, careers and cooking.
Mrs H Gornall
Teacher of Food and Nutrition