Culinary stars in the making serve up three-course menu for parents and teachers

Nine students from a Wolverhampton academy have brought their ten-week Junior Chef Academy course to a close with celebrations and Michelin-star worthy food.

Junior Chef Academy
Junior Chef Academy

The Junior Chef Academy is a nine-session course run by Chartwells - Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy’s caterer - which gives pupils a flavour of the skills needed to become a chef, highlighting the range of opportunities available within a career in hospitality.

The course, delivered by Wayne Martin, executive chef and Sam Cook, group manager, from Chartwells, culminated in an evening where the Year 10 and 11 pupils designed and executed a fantastic evening of food for their parents, teachers and trust members.

Showcasing their skills, guests were served an exquisite three-course menu which included Jersey Royal potato ice cream and chocolate prawn crackers.

Junior Chef Academy

The evening was polished off with a presentation from the Chartwells team to all the students where they received a certificate, an engraved chopping board and a recipe journal.

Chris Durkin, assistant principal, said: "The children absolutely loved the Junior Chef Academy and have produced some fantastic food during their last class - Michelin star worthy if you ask me.

"The academy gave students in-depth experience of what is needed to become a chef and the level of engagement from the students during the course was amazing.

"The skills they have learned will be fundamentally valuable to our students, across many aspects of their lives, and I am looking forward to watching them continue to excel and grow this skill set."

Junior Chef Academy

The course is designed to provide young people with the skills they need to become a chef, such as knife work, before focusing on learning and developing different dishes.

They also get to use professional kitchen equipment including thermos mixes, pako jets – gadgets found mostly in Michelin star restaurants, giving them the opportunity to grow and develop new skills.

Wayne Martin, executive chef at Chartwells said: "It has been a pleasure being part of these pupils’ journey in exploring the creative culinary world.

"It was great to see each one of the students excelling at implementing their culinary skills - the energy and atmosphere from the junior chefs was electric and their hard work paid off.

"At Chartwells, we’re passionate about championing the opportunities that exist within education catering, as well as fueling the learning of the next generation of culinary enthusiasts.

"Working in this industry has provided me with a wealth of experience and enjoyment, and I very much hope that we have passed on our passion to the next generation."

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