Prep discovered more about food provenance and sustainable food as the Eco Team joined Senior School’s Mr Mann, placing what looked like shrivelled old potatoes into old egg cartons this week. In fact the children were introduced to “chitting”, the traditional practice of placing seed potato tubers in a light, frost-free spot in late winter to encourage sprouting.
After choosing their spuds everyone took a trip to the Queen’s College polytunnel to discover more about growing at Queen’s.
In four to six weeks, the potatoes will be planted in the well-prepared new school kitchen garden, with well-rotted Queen’s College manure and within a few months we will have the first crops of delicious Queen’s College potatoes.
How does Mr Mann think growing our own food at Queen’s College helps us during Children’s Mental Health Week?
“As well as learning new things and gaining skills, growing food helps us with reasons to be active, it helps us to see things we’ve cared for grow, it provides us with quiet time in a calming place and ultimately it provides us with healthy nutritious food for body and mind. Being close to nature helps us to understand that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and planting every new seed at Queen’s gives us hope for the future ”.
No “Ugly Dumplings” at Queen’s
Prep joined Mr Mann at the weekend for a culinary masterclass making their own beautiful fresh potato-pasta gnocchi dumplings in a homemade pepper, garlic, onion and tomato reduction sauce. The children prepared this Italian family favourite from scratch and were even treated to a little homemade Italian focaccia bread with fresh rosemary grown at Queen’s College.
Mr Mann explained that the beauty of this ‘Gnocchi Con Pomodoro’ dish lies in making your own tomato sauce with fresh basil leaves for a wonderful authentic Italian experience. He went on to say, “this is also a wonderful dish for anyone who has leftover mash to make homemade dumplings at home and at the same time reduce food waste. Potatoes are the number one most wasted food in the UK with 4.4 million potatoes wasted every day in British households and this is a delicious way to tackle this”.
Food Fit For a Queen!
With the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II at the weekend, this week Mr Mann launched ‘Food Fit For a Queen’ everyone at Queen’s will have the opportunity to design a dish to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Queen’s. This college wide competition will be run in conjunction with the History department who will work with pupils to look at previous jubilees and other royal celebrations of the past and look at what was served at such state occasions so they can see how they might put their own twist on a traditional dish. We are all very excited that Jordan Bradley, the Queen’s College chef from Holroyd Howe, has very kindly agreed that the winning dishes will be made and served at Queen’s as part of the Queen’s, Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Not only that lucky winners will also receive a number of prizes kindly provided by Holroyd Howe. All aspiring young chefs across Queen’s College are invited to take part and are asked to please email Mr Mann for more information.
Cook for TV!
We are calling all budding young bakers at Queen’s College.
Channel 4’s television is looking for the UK’s Best Young Bakers who will still be aged 9 between 12 years old in September this year to appear on the television series Junior Bake Off. The applications close on 13th March 2022 which gives us just 3 school weeks! Filming will take place at the end of July.
If there is anyone interested please can they email Mr Mann and he can give them the opportunity of some extra tuition and mentoring and ultimately support them through the TV application process.
Kitchens Behind the Scenes
Sixth Formers studying Food Science and Nutrition with Mr Mann had a taster of what life is like behind the scenes in the Queen’s College professional kitchens! Our lucky sixth formers got an all access experience of every kitchen station that caters for all the food at Queen’s following ingredients from early morning delivery to being plated for lunch. The students also had a chance to quiz Head Chef Jordan Bradley and the Catering Manager on all the policies and procedures in place to ensure the food reaches our plates in the safest most hygienic way possible.