This year for the first time Eastleigh College has been running an after-school tuition programme for school pupils to come and learn basic cookery techniques. After six weeks of hard work, the pupils were pleased to host a graduation dinner for their parents and teachers at Eastleigh College’s East Avenue restaurant.
The pupils, who are all in Years 9, 10 and 11 at school, cooked up a three-course meal for their guests including a tomato and red pepper soup, an asparagus, pea and feta tartlet, and a white chocolate, raspberry and lime éclair.
The Junior Chefs programme has run for a total of six weeks and has taught the pupils basic cookery skills such as baking bread, how to butcher whole poultry, and how to make choux pastry.
Duncan Bachelor is in year 10 and has found it really helpful learning all the new skills. He said, “I liked learning how to cut chicken, gut a fish, peel tomatoes and stretch sugar. I’ve just done my work experience at an Italian restaurant and really enjoyed it, so I think I’ll apply to do Catering at College.”
Rebecca Leah, a year 11 pupil at Mountbatten School, is coming to Eastleigh College in September to study Catering and thought the Junior Chefs Programme would be a good opportunity to get to know the College. She said, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the kitchens and the chefs; it’s been really useful. My favourite part has been the choux pastry and piping, because I want to be a pastry chef. I plan to do my two-year Catering course and then stay on for another year to specialise in patisserie.”
The pupils were able to put all their skills to the test preparing for the graduation dinner, where they were all presented with a certificate and a medal for their achievements.
The Junior Chefs Programme will be returning later in the year in the Autumn term – starting on the 14th September, the programme runs for 6 weeks and fees are £60 inclusive of uniform hire, ingredients and the graduation dinner. Click here for more details and to book your place!