On Monday 10th October, students and staff at St Gregory’s School in Bath welcomed celebrity chef, Paul Rankin, as he delivered GCSE Food and Nutrition Masterclasses to Year 10 and Year 11 students, whilst providing an insight into the catering industry and the many career opportunities available to young people.

During the Masterclasses, Paul worked alongside GCSE Food and Nutrition students to prepare a dish, providing expert tuition and guidance throughout. Students received a culinary demonstration and were then asked to prepare their own version of the dish using a range of specially selected ingredients.

At lunchtime, Paul worked alongside the school’s award winning catering team, Sodexo, to plan, prepare and serve up one of his signature dishes, Chargrilled and Peppered Chilli Chicken, to students and staff.

The event has been organised as part of the school’s on-going commitment to promote the importance of healthy eating and nutrition whilst providing students with a unique opportunity to acquire essential life skills to take with them as they progress through further or higher education and beyond.

Speaking on behalf of Sodexo, Julie Linzell, Account Manager said, “We take our responsibility of providing a high quality catering service to the young people in our schools very seriously and like to add value to our school’s catering provisions by organising events that help to improve the quality of life amongst students and school staff, not to mention creating professional development opportunities for our own staff and catering teams.”

“Paul Rankin has been working with us for more than 15 years, supporting our work in schools, and we are so pleased that he will be working with the team at St Gregory’s to highlight the important role that schools play in educating children about healthy eating and cooking. Our executive development chef for schools, Sean Corbitt, also accompanied Paul throughout his visit to ensure that future menus in our schools continue to represent this important agenda.”

Paul was delighted to lead the GCSE Masterclasses, providing guidance and support to the students as they tried their hand at re-creating one of his dishes.

“It’s such a pleasure to have the opportunity to cook with some of the students at St Gregory’s. For me, it’s about trying to communicate the importance of good, natural food and cooking,” said Paul. “The students were brilliant and I found it inspiring to work with them.”

Harley and Henry, two Year 10 GCSE students, were impressed by their culinary class adding, “We both want to be chefs and have really enjoyed this amazing lesson. It was brilliant to see Paul cook his own dish up close. We found the champ sauce quite tricky to get right as we were balancing cream and potato. His presentation was amazing and he made it look so easy!”

Headmistress, Ann Cusack, said, “I am delighted that our school has been selected to take part in this prestigious programme of masterclasses enabling us to raise the profile of healthy eating in our school in an engaging and exciting way. Our students will have a unique opportunity to challenge their learning and be inspired by professionals in their field.”

“St Gregory’s is a school that continues to provide exceptional opportunities to all children, both in and outside of the classroom, and this is just one example of this. There is a great buzz around the school and I am looking forward to tasting the results!”