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Cookery courses for Ascot foster children

A 16th Century country pub in Berkshire has run a successful series of cookery lessons for young people who are currently in foster care

Richard Keep, chef and licensee of The Old Hatchet in Winkfield near Ascot, teamed up with local charity Power of Parenting to offer the classes which took place every Monday throughout October. It saw the participants cooking and serving their dishes for their foster carers.

Paul Adams, who co-founded Power of Parenting with his wife Samantha, and Richard were discussing an ambition Paul had to take a group of young people to a large hotel kitchen to see some culinary demonstrations and learn about the opportunities that exist in the industry. Richard spotted an opportunity to take it a step further with an instructional programme of culinary skills in a live environment.

Five young people, who all live locally, joined the course which saw Richard, aided by Sabina Mis, also a chef at The Old Hatchet, teaching a range of key kitchen skills including proper utensil handling and use, food safety and dish and menu presentation.

Richard said:

I feel so invigorated by this course. I love having the chance to put something back in to the community and share my passion for cooking with these youngsters. They’ve all lived through some difficult times and I’m hoping that by bringing out their amazing ability to create, cook and serve delicious home-cooked food, they will achieve something they can be deservedly proud of. In serving it to their carers, the fantastic people who dedicate their lives to others can enjoy it too.

Camille Keep, licensee at The Old Hatchet, added:

The first class was just amazing. The youngsters made a beautiful lobster bisque, starting from scratch. It was just incredible to see how engaged they all were with the process and the pleasure they got from their endeavours. I hope it will inspire some of them to become chefs in the future.

The programme has been supported by a number of The Old Hatchet’s suppliers including Kingfisher Brixham, Owton’s Butchers, M.P. Lamb Fruit & Vegetable Merchants and Fuller’s.

Photo: Power of Parenting