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Posted on 9th April 2018
The realities of working in a professional kitchen were demonstrated to teenagers.
Year 9, 10 and 11 students at Burnt Mill Academy are studying the new NCFE food and cookery course.
Working with The Springboard Charity, which helps young people to achieve their potential, the school welcomed in professional chef Ben Nottage, of Station 169 at Radisson Blu hotel at Stansted Airport.
Throughout the session, the chef taught students professional knife skills and how to make, roll and bake pastry as they made vegetarian quiche.
Ben, who is from Harlow but has worked for celebrity chef Gary Rhodes in London, also spoke with students about working in a busy kitchen and how he got to the position he is now in.
He said: “With schools, it’s about getting students into cooking early. It’s about showing them what they can become if they put in the hard work. My message is also if they do not enjoy it, there is no point doing the job as it’s about long hours and lots of pressure.
“It has been great to see students enjoying the session and asking lots of questions.”
Rosie Hayes, art, design and technology teacher, said: “It was really useful for students to learn from a professional chef, learning techniques such as chopping with sharp knives with expert guidance.
“Students were really engaged and asked Ben lots of questions. It was particularly good for students to see a male role model from within the food industry.”
Future Chef and Junior Chef Academy links were set up with Burnt Mill to create industry links for students.
Former Burnt Mill student Connor Dollard, 19, took part in the Future Chef contest and is now working for Ben as an apprentice at Station 169.