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Inspiring 5 star chef at Bushey Meads

Alison Hanbury
Inspiring 5 star chef at Bushey Meads

Bushey Meads welcomed The Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year Russell Bateman into the Food Preparation and Nutrition classes this week. He holds the head chef position at esteemed restaurant Colette’s – the flagship eatery at luxury hotel, The Grove, in Hertfordshire. The restaurant itself has been awarded three AA rosettes.

Russell came into school to inspire potential Food Preparation and Nutrition students and to cook with current GCSE students to extend their skills and create ideas for new recipes.

Over 50 Year 9 students contacted me asking if they could participate in the kitchen demonstration. I invited 30 of those students to watch Russell prepare a burrata cheese and chicory salad using the finest olive oil from Tuscany, Malden sea salt, tellicherry pepper served with grapefruit dressed with a sweet glaze, shaved kalamata olives and sliced almonds. It was amazing to watch him talk about these wonderful ingredients many of the students had not seen or tasted before. Watching the process of him layering up the dishes to make it look and taste spectacular.

The Year 9’s commented on how much care and attention Russell put into placing the ingredients on the plate along with the fact that it wasn’t just salt, pepper and olive oil. All the ingredients had a story and a purpose.

Russell and I had several conversations about what we wanted the Year 10’s to achieve in their 2 hour practical session as Russell taking the lead. Russell decided on braised lamb meatballs with a bulgar wheat salad. The class worked so efficiently under his instruction. He did lots of on the spot demonstrations and praised the students work.

Russells observation of the Year 10 Food class was that they worked together so well and were very happy to share ingredients will each other so willingly. He was impressed at the skills the students were able to show and loved the fact that they all had their own ideas of how to present the dish at the end of the session.

Overall the whole experience for the Year 9 and students was so valuable and worth while. The Year 10 students have all written letters to Russell thanking him for him time and expertise.

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