Norwich

The first  two terms of our ‘Home Cooking Skills’ course  has now been completed at the Study Centre at Norwiich City Football Club. Nicknamed ‘Cooking for Success’, our first exciting pilot project started on Thursday 10th January and ran until Easter and was followed by a further 10 week programme running from April to July. Over the two terms  we were able to offer 21 students aged 14-18 from various high schools across Norfolk the opportunity to gain a Home Cooking Skills qualification. All the students had varying levels of learning difficulties as well as behavioural and attitide problems with many of them at risk of leaving school with limited qualifications and having poor employment prospects. The qualification, endorsed by Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver, involves the students learning how to prepare and produce home cooked food including cottage pie, home made pizzas, chicken fajitas and fruit crumble, to name but a few. The sessions took place in one of the large commercial kitchens at Carrow Road, so the students were able  to experience what it was like to prepare food and cook using professional equipment in a professional environment.  A qualified chef working alongside Tutor Ros Watson took the students through their paces and guided them through the exciting recipes. At the end of each practical session, the students  were able to enjoy their home cooked delights as part of their lunch, enjoying their food with the other students and staff in the group,  which was a new skill in itself for many of the participants. The students also worked hard  outside the kitchen as in the afternoon they were busy producing a portfolio of work containing their recipes together with their own feedback and comments on each recipe, along with useful information and completed worksheets on food and hygiene. At the end of the two courses, the students, their staff and their parents and Social Workers were invited to  special celebratory presentation evenings at Carrow Road and had their certificates presented to them by NCFC First team player, Bradley Johnson. Tutor Ros Watson was really excited about the course: “The students worked so well. They were engaged and focussed throughout the sessions and cooked some amazing food. The hope is that they will have acquired a number of new skills in the kitchen and after the course will be able to cook nourishing and healthy food without reaching for the ‘Ready Meal’ packets. The celebration event was definitely  the ‘icing on the cake’.”