Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Toby Carvery Top Chefs

Our budding chefs enjoyed a visit to the Toby Carvery in Brentwood last week. It was an opportunity to see how real life chefs use the skills that they have been practising every week. Cooking for a family is a challenge, but preparing food for 200 people is a real test. The children were very interested to learn what skills the chefs and staff needed and how they could develop these skills at school. When the children arrived at the restaurant, they had to design their very own chefs hat to wear in the kitchen. Next they got a tour of the kitchen area and a chance to talk to the staff about their different roles. The final job was to see if their taste buds were up to scratch with a taste test. Luckily all their work at school meant they could identify the vegetables correctly! As a reward the children were treated to a slap up roast dinner.

"I learnt that each member of the team needs different skills. The restaraunt manager needs excellent communication skills. Her job is to make sure the customers are well taken care of and that the kitchen crew know what they need to provide. However the chefs need to work well under pressure. Without effective teamwork they won't get the lunches out on time!" Lowena Amankwah, aged 11, Elm class

The trip was arranged by parent governor and chef Mr Mark Borrell. In his cookery club, all of the children are expected to learn about nutrition, portion sizes and healthy eating. Getting to now see these skills used in a real life context has helped the children to really think about catering as a future career choice.

"I didn't realise I would be good at cooking. To begin with I found the chopping hard, but now I can cut up the vegetables quickly and easily. Who would have thought that I'd like the taste of butternut squash soup... but it is delicious" Sophie Prior, aged 10

The success of this project has been overwhelming. Cookery club is so oversubscribed each term that we are looking at opening another one. Hopefully we shall soon hear of some Harold Hill chefs making it to work in the biggest and best restaurants in London!

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