Chefs from across Jersey’s hospitality industry will move from the kitchen to the classroom in January, when a culinary programme starts in six schools.
The initiative is run by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, who will train the chefs as part of an ‘Adopt a School’ programme, which sees chefs from across the UK serve up inspiring classroom sessions to their ‘adopted’ schools.
Chefs from restaurants, pubs and hotels will teach pupils at Les Landes, St Peter, St Luke’s and Samarès primary schools and Les Quennevais and Le Rocquier secondary schools. Their work will complement the Let’s Get Cooking programme established by Caring Cooks, which will be rolled out across all primary schools by 2025.
Adopt a School is a national charity that was founded in 1990 to deliver food education in schools. The Jersey programme, which is the result of a collaboration between Skills Jersey, Highlands College and the Jersey Hospitality Association, will help children develop healthy eating habits, encourage an enthusiasm and interest in food provenance and sustainability, and teach an insight into the hospitality industry.
The Jersey programme will run as a trial from January until the end of the academic year and, if successful, will extend to include more schools each year.
Nathan Watts, curriculum manager for the Culinary Arts, Tourism and Hospitality department at Highlands College, said: “We know how important it is for young people to develop healthy eating habits, but this is also a good opportunity to educate young people about the diverse and exciting roles in Jersey’s hospitality industry. At Highlands College, we provide high-quality training for careers in this sector.”
Secondary school students will learn from college chef lecturers how to cut meat and fillet fish, as well as cooking dishes to restaurant standard and gaining front of house skills. Primary school pupils will be taught by chefs in their classrooms and will work towards preparing a healthy meal in their partner secondary school’s food technology department.
Dave Roworth, Senior Advisor for Skills Jersey, hopes that the ‘Adopt a School’ programme can be integrated into the school curriculum. “We have a proactive hospitality industry which has faced unprecedented challenge, and this is an opportunity to inspire our young people by engaging with committed local culinary experts across the sector,” he said. “I am confident that this programme will not only build healthier eating habits, but will also provide a pipeline of local talent for the hospitality industry.”
Claire Boscq, the Chief Executive Officer of Jersey Hospitality Industry, said: “The Jersey Hospitality Association is very excited to be supporting this programme. Getting our young islanders inspired by Top Chefs to join the industry is so important and sharing their passion face-to-face takes the experience to another level.”