Cook with Leon -
A Master Chef in his own right!
Yesterday we had the great pleasure of welcoming Leon Lewis to our Food Technology department! We are very grateful that Leon volunteered his precious free time to spend the morning with our year 11 Hospitality and Catering pupils as they near the end of their course and spend their final few weeks with us before they sit their exams and progress to the next step of life's journey into the 'big world'.
Anyone who knows teenagers knows how rigidly set in their ways most are when it comes to their food palate - they will eat what they like and most are not willing to deviate or try new things, in fact most parents of teenagers will probably agree they hear "I don't like that" at least once a week! Leon decided to challenge our pupils by putting on an array of foods teenagers usually wouldn't attempt to eat! (red and white cabbage, spring and red onions etc.)
Inspired by his parents from a young age, he told us he was constantly encouraged to cook all sorts of food growing up. Having always been a fan of Masterchef, he would regularly shout at the television in frustration, "they should add this to make it taste more that, if they had only done that..." After another night of listening to his many 'suggestions' Leon was dared to prove he could "do better" and apply to appear on the TV series, so he did! Making his appearance on series 18 of the well known and loved BBC programme. Leon told us he reached the quarter finals and got to cook for some celebs too, but more so since leaving the show! He has launched his own company "cooking with Leon" which has seen him launch takeover evenings in hotels and restaurants alike! Leon regularly travels to top hotels across the country where he takes over the kitchen and serves up his own menus.
We had the delights of watching Leon and Mrs Lee prepare, make and serve some Asian street food within an hour! Ok, ok so there may have bee a little bit of preparation just before to ensure all equipment required was on hand to ensure this culinary lesson went without a hitch! Leon showed then explained why 9he was doing what he was doing) as Mrs Lee copied what was done and as anyone who has ever had the privilege of coming into contact with the treasure that is Mrs Lee will know just how competitive she is, so the stakes were high to maintain the usual standards she expects of herself! The smells by this time wafting around the room were delectable, pupils starting to pay real attention as their stomachs grumbled in appreciation of the aromatic delights!
As the food was served, pupils queued politely to sample the aesthetically pleasing dishes on offer in front of them. Mrs Lee's food looked identical to Leon's so we are not too sure who we should congratulate.. Mrs Lee on being such a good chef, or Leon on being a great teacher! If you get bored of the bank work Leon, you could always retrain and find out if it was you, but if we had to choose it would definitely be a draw!
A video compilation can be found on our social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) or you can view photographs of the event in our gallery here on our website. (News tab, then Galleries)