Ready, Steady, Bake! Pupils at St John’s CofE Primary School got off to a flying start with their cooking skills when a guest chef joined them for a bake off at the opening of their brand new children’s kitchen on Monday (November 9).
Students from the Church of England Academy in Dorking worked with Executive Chef of The Burford Bridge Hotel, Nick Sinclair, to prepare savoury flans which were then subject to the taste-testing scrutiny of the experienced chef as well as Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, who officially opened the kitchens.
The school’s new commercial kitchen was also unveiled after being completely re-designed and equipped thanks to a £235,000 grant from the Government.
Pupils aged 3 to 11 will now begin regular cooking lessons in the children's kitchen, fuelled by the school allotment in which every year group has a plot.
Headteacher Mark Richards said: “The children absolutely love it! We have four separate preparation areas, fridges, four ovens and hobs and a fully equipped kitchen for children to learn essential life skills.
“Together with the allotments we are now able to offer children the chance to not only learn first-hand the process of sowing seeds to harvest, but also the opportunity to cook the food to eat.
“Learning at St John's has just got even more exciting for the children and I am delighted to have both the Lord Lieutenant and Nick Sinclair open our children's kitchen and inspire them to start cooking.”
The winner of St John’s own bake off was five-year-old Bridget Tanswell (pictured) who created a delicious cheese and bacon tart, praised by the judges for its “great flavour and crisp pastry,” said Chef Nick, adding: “In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I would be happy to serve it in my restaurant!”
Indeed, Chef Nick was so impressed that he offered the prize of some Christmas cooking lessons for the whole of Bridget’s Year 1, in recognition.
St John’s school became an academy in November 2013 as part of the Diocese of Guildford’s multi-academy trust, The Good Shepherd Trust (GST).