Our kitchen was completed in the middle of January 2012. The first training course got under way on Tuesday, 24 January and ran up until Friday, the 27th. Eight students attended this course. We cover the basics of cooking including techniques, recipes, concepts and ideas. Classes generally run for 3 hours a morning and students work in pairs. Participants have to wear an apron and a mop cap (supplied) and are given a copy of the recipes to take home.

We start off with a basic health and hygiene talk. We discuss ingredients and utensils and they are shown the different equipment/items used in the kitchen from spatulas to mixing bowls, graters to our Kenwood Chef! They are taught how to follow a recipe from collecting utensils and ingredients to measuring and then mixing/preparation of the dish.

The students are also involved in drawing up the shopping list for the ingredients required for the following day’s practical.

We have made a variety of dishes including milk tart, basic mince meat, white sauce, lasagne, pilchard bake, scones, cupcakes, chocolate crunch, peanut butter biscuits, chocolate pudding, 6 minute microwave chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie.

Students then sample what has been made and make comments. We also cost the dish and decide on a selling price. We have started taking orders for milk tarts, rusks and cakes. On the days that we prepare certain dishes for e.g. the mince dish and pilchard bake, these were served for the crèche children’s lunch.

The participants are quite competitive amongst themselves and on more than one occasion could be heard saying “ours is number 1!”.
Course 2 will hopefully run when there is an abundance of citrus fruit available. We will then focus on citrus itemsfrom lemon syrup to marmalade.

~ Written by Heleen le Roux, Project Coordinator, Katco ~