Junior Chefs All Set for School Holiday Courses

Aspiring young chefs and bakers will be polishing their skills as City College Norwich opens its doors for the 6th year running for its Junior Chef and Junior Baker Summer School programmes. Students from as young as 10 – 15 years old will be taught how to peel, chop, knead and whisk in a professional environment by expert chefs and bakers from the College’s Hotel School.

Students from across the county will be coming into College over their summer break to take part in these 2 week long courses. Bakers and chefs alike will learn a wide range of dishes covering starters, mains and deserts and will learn how to cook and bake with imagination and style. Students learn an enormous variety of skills such as meat and poultry preparation, bread and cake making, piping, icing and food presentation. In fact, these budding young cooks will be learning skills which would be taught as part of an NVQ level 2 college course.

Apart from being interesting and great fun, youngsters get to take away their handy work for friends and relatives to enjoy after the day’s cooking is over. Participants use ingredients they have not come across before and try new and interesting dishes. Just like professional chefs and bakers, all of the mini-chefs are required to wear a chef’s uniform and observe the basic rules for working in a catering environment.

The theme for this year’s Junior Chef course is “Around the World” with each day’s menu representing a country, ranging from Italy to India. Thursday is Spanish cooking and the young chefs will be creating a traditional Paella and tortilla with stuffed peppers and an Orange and Polenta Cake to follow. Bakers will be learning to make Choux pastry dishes such as éclairs and Gougere, a type of puffed cheese pastry. Not only will students be creating fantastic dishes, they also learn food preparation techniques, health, safety and hygiene in the kitchen.

The Junior Chefs Academy programme has been running at the College for 6 years and many of the young people have gone on to further study at the college. The course is a great start for aspiring chefs and bakers. In fact, 7 students have now progressed from the Junior Chef course to studying for Foundation degrees in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.

One such student is Paul Taylor, 21 from Norwich. Paul began his career as a junior chef at the age of 15. Having always had a passion for cooking he progressed to study BTEC Catering and Hospitality and NVQ3 Hospitality Supervision. He now works full-time for the College as Operations Supervisor, helping to manage internal college events, outside catering and the college’s 3 restaurants, whilst studying part time for a Foundation Degree in Hospitality Management.

Paul said: “The Junior Chefs Academy is a great course for any young person interested in cookery and baking. It has been a great stepping stone for me, because it meant that when I applied to the College I already knew some of the staff and had thought about the path I wanted to take. I have moved into a front of house job now, but I still love to cook and I still have my recipe books from the Junior Chefs Academy. I would love to have my own hotel business in the future.”

The Junior Chefs Academy not only runs in the summer but there are courses in term time too. If you would like to find out more please contact Barbara Abrahams Programme Manager 01603 773469 or The Admissions Department on 01603 773239