Head of Food and Nutrition, Mr Joe Mann, treated pupils at Queen’s to a day of presentations and cookery workshops from Armed Forces Chefs this week. The day began with Royal Navy Chef, Simon Gray, who trained in catering at Westminster College (alongside the likes of other Westminster Chefs like Jamie Oliver) with fish masterclasses. Chef Simon, who has owned a restaurant, managed multi-site restaurants and has even cooked for royalty at prestigious sporting, demonstrated gutting and filleting fresh seafood, got pupils to make pan-fried mackerel served upon a spicy chorizo and chickpea stew, crispy breaded plaice goujons on a bed of lemon mayonnaise and rocket leaves served in a freshly baked ciabatta roll and cuttlefish prepped and deep-fried. Simon said, “the national Fish In Schools Hero programme run by the Food Teachers Centre that Mr Mann at Queen’s has signed up for is here to ensure that every child gets a chance to prepare, cook and eat fish before they leave school!”
Following this Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton MBE and his colleagues from the Royal Marine Commandos Education Awareness Team (RM-EAT) delivered straight-talking, honest life skills and Royal Navy career advice through an exciting poultry preparation and nutrition masterclass experience. CSgt Beaton, who has served around the globe from operational tours of duty have in Northern Ireland, to the jungles of Serra Leona, has also represented Great Britain 7 times in the World Long Course Triathlon Championships, from Japan to Denmark, Switzerland to France and all this whilst on tours of duty within the Royal Marines. Spoking about the importance of nutrition and exercise, CSgt Beaton said that understanding and gaining knowledge of cooking healthy meals is a foundation stone for a healthy lifestyle, “in an age where we consume too much sugar and salt and don’t have nutritional know-how readily available, we aim to not only educate but to highlight the importance of a healthy diet, particularly within a role in the armed forces”.
Mr Joe Mann said “I would like to thank Mike and Simon for delivering an excellent series of engaging and valuable cookery workshops that have really captured the attention of our pupils at Queen’s. We strive to ensure all our pupils have access to a diverse range of experiences and opportunities, so they are equipped with the knowledge to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Giving our young people the chance to participate in events like this is instilling a love of cooking that will open the door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. I believe that learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables the pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.”