Ready Steady Cook! Session for U5th
As part of the brand new Upper 5th tutorial programme, Upper 5th tutors have been giving assemblies designed to help pupils develop new skills which will benefit them in the years ahead. Seeing that pupils regularly show interest in learning how to cook, as they start to think ahead to university and having to fend for themselves, we decided to demystify the art of cooking. To do this, we asked our superb Catering Manager, Gary Law, to provide and demonstrate some simple recipes which provide nutritious, easy to cook meals which pupils could learn to cook before university.
Gary and one of his senior chefs, Lee, proceeded to show the pupils how to cook three dishes in 45 minutes: spaghetti Bolognese, chicken stir fry and meatballs in a tomato sauce. Whilst Gary was cooking the main dishes, Lee was teaching the pupils how to chop various foodstuffs including garlic, cabbage peppers and onions; they learnt handy tips like tucking their fingers underneath their knuckles when chopping with a knife and how to crush the garlic first in order to make peeling easier. All the time Gary and Lee were explaining the key principles and pitfalls to provide the pupils with as rich an experience as possible.
At the end of the demonstration Gary spent a few minutes answering questions before setting the pupils a challenge: Try to cook one or more of these dishes for your parents over half term and send in the photos of you and your dish to Mr Brooks; these will then go in the next newsletter, with a chocolate prize for the best photo of a pupil’s cooking exploits.
Gary Law commented: "My assistant chef, Lee, and I prepared all the ingredients early in the morning, ahead of the cookery demo at 8.15am. I felt a bit apprehensive, as it was the first time that I was cooking live in front of nearly 100 pupils and staff, but I soon got into the flow, cooking and talking through each step. I explained to the pupils how simple it is to prepare and cook these meals and therefore really useful for when they move onto university."
Gary also discussed kitchen hygiene with the pupils, including the importance of washing hands and keeping the kitchen work area clean and tidy, as well as what do and not to do when using raw chicken.
We are very grateful to Gary and his team for this really useful and enjoyable cookery session with the Upper 5th and wish the pupils good luck with their cooking challenge!
Gary Law, Catering Manager