On Saturday 16th of December a team of year 10 students, with celebrity chef Mark Lloyd, took over the school canteen, Best Bite, to open a one night only pop up restaurant called School Diners. They were also supported by the school chef, Matt Bennett.
Students had been given the opportunity to work under Mark’s guidance to plan, prepare, cook and run a one-day restaurant at the school. The students taking part were identified as those that may benefit from this entrepreneurial program developing skills such as teamwork, time keeping and resilience whilst experiencing working under pressure and money handling all essential to provide a great customer experience. Over the previous 6 weeks the team of students have chosen a menu, marketed their event, drawn up a guest list, designed a dining area, menu, table setting and flyer, they even organised stewarding on the night.
Students arrived at the school at 10am ready for a long day, preparing and cooking the food and also ensuring the dining room was decorated and tables set. Mark gave the students the itinerary for the day, then split them into three groups – each group had responsibility for a section of the meal – Mark showed pupils how to use the equipment and prepare the food and then they were off. They worked extremely hard and well in their groups and by the evening had succeeded in cooking a fantastic 3 course meal – the menu for the evening was super-food salad, roast pork with roast potatoes, vegetables with a cider sauce and chocolate brownie with ice-cream for dessert.
The students cooked and served everything themselves taking over the professional school kitchens whilst under the supervision of the chefs. Their invited guests then paid what they felt the food and service was worth, once the evening was finished and their takings totalled up they were pleased to have made a healthy profit. They now just need to decide what to do with their profits!
Mr Wiley, who had worked with the students throughout the day, said: “I was really proud to see the students collaborate so maturely and step outside their comfort zones over the last 6 weeks. Guests left them some great comments recognising their professionalism and attention to detail. Our chefs felt the students were a real credit to the school and made their day easy as they led from the front and organised one another.”