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Marshland High School students take part in Ready Steady Cook style challenge set by RAF Catering Team

Aspiring cooks were put through their culinary paces when the Royal Air Force visited a West Norfolk secondary school.

A group of Year 10 students from Marshland High School took part in a Ready Steady Cook style challenge set by members of the RAF Catering Team.

The participants were all GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition students at the school.

Marshland Ready Steady Cook
Marshland Ready Steady Cook

Stevie Goddard, head of food preparation and nutrition at Marshland, said: “Students had 30 minutes to select from a huge range of ingredients, plan a dessert and main meal, and present it to the head teacher to be judged.

“Students had two stipulations – their main dish had to contain chicken, and their dessert had to feature choux. Otherwise, they had to invent then carry out the dishes.

“Students had to organise themselves, then prepare, cook, and present the dishes.

Marshland Ready Steady Cook
Marshland Ready Steady Cook

“Each team had an assistant – one of the RAF chefs or, for one group, myself.”

The chefs rose to the occasion, with their creations judged by Marshland head teacher Craig Jansen, who assessed the dishes on criteria of sophistication, appearance, aroma, taste, and texture.

Out of the 19 participants, the winning team members were Max, Noelani, Julia, and Gabriella. Each winner was rewarded with a certificate and gift token.

“The competition winners were the team assisted by the RAF chef who is the commanding chef and has the most prestige,” continued Mr Goddard.

Marshland Ready Steady Cook
Marshland Ready Steady Cook

“They demonstrated an array of skills, including dauphinoise potato cakes with a herbed mushroom sauce to pair with the chicken, then made a caramel mini croquembouche with a strawberry compote, and rhubarb and strawberry ice cream.”

Mr Goddard added: “The purpose of the event was to expose the students to some high-calibre professionals, learn some enhancing skills, have a memorable teamwork experience, and to develop their career outlook.

Marshland Ready Steady Cook
Marshland Ready Steady Cook

“These events are important for countless reasons – a different voice, a break from normality and predictability, a challenge, broadening the horizons, teamwork and hard work, and much more.

“The benefits are also significant. The skills they learned have led to many seeing a new ‘possible’ – and that’s invaluable.”

Reporting by Toma Toricina

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