Culinary success in adopt a school programme

The City of Liverpool College has joined forces with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) charity to help shape the habits of school children from around the city region.

Professional chefs from the Adopt a School charity run food education courses in the college's professional kitchens for pupils aged 11-16, to learn how to cook nutritious food and encourage healthier lifestyles.

Pupils Molly Garber, 14, from Childwall, and Lucy Mae D’arcy, 12, from Widnes, took part in classes after school with Chef James Holden and went on to compete in cooking competitions.

Molly, from St Julies Catholic High School beat six other pupils from Wigan, St Helens and Liverpool with her chosen meal, crispy breaded chicken with sweet potato mash, fried courgettes with pesto and salsa.

The confident schoolgirl beat the heat in the kitchen to secure her place in the regional final on 6th February and was presented with a certificate and cookbook.

Lucy, a pupil at The Saint Peter and Paul Catholic College, amazed judges at the prestigious Teflon Diamond Standard Awards in London in the Keen Young Cooks category and came runner-up.

Chef James said: “I work with the college and other schools in Liverpool. While doing this I’ve also established junior chef courses, which run for six weeks after school and the kids come in and learn around a theme, such as pastry, healthy family meals, Christmas and so on.

“What we’ve achieved is keen young cooks coming and learning skills. If they go on to work in the industry, that’s a bonus.

“Lucy and Molly are already entering competitions and that is superb, we have improved their skills and their confidence with food and in the kitchen. Hopefully, other youngsters in the Liverpool City Region will be inspired to join the courses”

RACA are hoping more colleges and universities will join in the programme to help children become potential Michelin-starred chefs of the future.

Photo: (L-R) Lucy Mae D’arcy, James Holden and Molly Garber

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