Young chefs from Ramsgate Arts Elementary School attend a Mexican feast – Thanet Island News

Kids learn some cooking skills

No time for naps, let’s have a festival – that was the message for guests invited to a delicious Mexican feast prepared by young chefs from Ramsgate Arts Primary.

The Year 6 Catering staff prepared, cooked and served a number of delicious, nutritious dishes to family and friends in celebration of an intensive week-long cooking course.

Connecting to the latest classroom topic, Mexico: Then and Now, children worked under the expert supervision of Newington Community Chef Mike Spackman in the kitchens of the city’s Royal Harbor Academy.

Boys and girls explore basic cooking skills, recipes and traditional menus. They were taught knife skills (including bridge and claw handles), preparation techniques and how to use equipment such as food processors, stoves, and ovens.

After each day, the pupils shared their latest creations and discussed what went well and what they enjoyed. After Thursday’s session, vote for their favorite dishes to create a mouthwatering Friday menu.

Sixth grade teachers John Williams and Andrew Perrett were impressed by the way the students tackled the cooking challenge and engaged with new skills in the kitchen.

They said: “An amazing meal that included a range of dishes was served throughout the week: chili, mini chicken fajitas, taco salad, pork kofta, hot potatoes and stuffed peppers.

“Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who were able to come and enjoy the show food – it made the whole project worthwhile.”

Mike Spachman supervised a range of kitchen rules and skills including food preparation skills, safety and hygiene, meticulously following recipe instructions and understanding recipe language, careful use of measuring equipment, cooking, and serving and presentation skills.

He said: “Over the course of an entire school week, all the children, without exception, grew in confidence and enthusiasm.

“Overall, they were willing and eager to explore new flavors and textures. Ingredients that were initially a mystery are now becoming more familiar.

“They have all overcome some tough challenges and produced some really great food. We obviously have some ‘chefs in the making’.”

School Principal Nick Budge said: “It has been a great success serving delicious, well-cooked food as part of our celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.

“The children were the stars of the show but a big thank you to our Year 6 teachers, Mike Spachman for his enthusiasm and encouragement, and Tom Boughton and Simon Boleyn for allowing us to use the excellent facilities at Royal Harbor Academy.

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* Mike Spachman is Best Chef in the BBC Food and Agriculture Awards 2017, B.Ed. Elementary Honors, Certificate in Professional Cooking; Project Director of The Community Chef Project (Swale) since 2008, he is currently seconded for two years to Newington Big Local in Ramsgate.

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