Junior Chef Academy students showcased their new professional culinary skills by designing and preparing a celebratory Graduation Dinner for their family and friends.

Junior Chef Academy graduating class of December 2021

The special event, held on Wednesday 1st December, marked the end of the latest 10-week training course - set up in successful collaboration with Compass Group UK & Ireland.

During the after-school sessions eight local school pupils developed a variety of new catering skills, including a meat masterclass, making pizza dough, fish dishes and explored healthy eating options.

Oaklands Catholic School pupil Lauren Way said: “I found the whole experience really good. I made new friends, and to be honest I don’t want it to end. I’ve enjoyed it so much I’m considering a career in catering and perhaps the Navy.”

The Graduation Dinner included gourmet delights such as chicken katsu tenders, vegetarian kebab skewers, naans, gourmet fish & chips with Eton mess for desert.

Swanmore School pupil Chris Cowdrill said: “When I joined the course, I couldn’t cook anything. I’m still not the best but I have learnt the fundamentals, which will help me become more independent as I think cooking is a really important life skill. I have grown as a person, and I have been pushed out of my comfort zone, which has boosted my confidence massively.”

The course would not have taken place without the generosity and support from sponsors including Compass Group UK & Ireland, Harvest, Nisbets and John Sheppard Butchers.

Lead Development Chef, Compass Group UK & Ireland, Leanne Turk said: “This cohort have been really engaged and they have really taken on the skill set we delivered in each session. Today is a culmination of all the skills they have learnt, and it’s been nice to see each student build their confidence. I know they are all very proud to be cooking tonight for their parents and we, as tutors, are very proud of what they have achieved.”

Junior Chef Academy Class of Autumn 2021

  • Freya Foster
  • Max Lewis
  • Joshua Beavis
  • Jay Diamond
  • Chris Cowdrill
  • Ruby-Ann Fry
  • Emily Weites
  • Lauren Way

Article Details

  • Date 08/12/2021