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Marshland High School

Time to cook in RAF challenge

Aspiring cooks were put through their culinary paces when the Royal Air Force visited Marshland High School.

A group of our Year 10 students took part in a Ready Steady Cook style challenge set by members of the RAF Catering Team, which involved them working in teams to create a two-course meal from scratch against the clock.

The 19 participants were all members of the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition Course at our school, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“Students had 30 minutes to select from a huge range of ingredients, plan a dessert and main meal, and present it to the head teacher to be judged,” said Stevie Goddard, who is Head of Food Preparation and Nutrition at Marshland and helped to organise the event.

“Students had two stipulations – their main dish had to contain chicken, and their dessert had to feature choux. Otherwise, they had to invent then carry out the dishes. Students had to organise themselves, then prepare, cook and present the dishes.

“Each team had an assistant – one of the RAF chefs or, for one group, myself.”

The budding chefs rose to the occasion, with their creations judged by our Head Teacher, Craig Jansen, who assessed the dishes on criteria of sophistication, appearance, aroma, taste, and texture.

“The competition winners were the team assisted by the RAF chef who is the commanding chef and has the most prestige,” continued Mr Goddard.

“They demonstrated an array of skills, including dauphinoise potato cakes with a herbed mushroom sauce to pair with the chicken, then made a caramel mini croquembouche with a strawberry compote, and rhubarb and strawberry ice cream.”

Winning team members Max, Noelani, Julia and Gabriella each received a certificate and gift token.

“The purpose of the event was to expose the students to some high-calibre professionals, learn some enhancing skills, have a memorable teamwork experience, and to develop their careers outlook,” added Mr Goddard.

“These events are important for countless reasons – a different voice, a break from normality and predictability, a challenge, broadening the horizons, teamwork and hard work, and much more.

“The benefits are also significant. The skills they learned have led to many seeing a new ‘possible’ – and that’s invaluable.”