Forget Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, Montsaye Academy in Rothwell was the place to be for a culinary experience on Thursday (July 5).
The school’s dining hall was transformed into a professional restaurant as students and staff from The Tollemache Arms in Harrington cooked up a feast.
Funded by owner of The Tolly Joe Buckley they spent the day preparing a four-course meal for 60 parents and staff, raising £560 for charity Perfect Helping Hands in the process.
Diners were treated to a selection of soups and focaccia bread followed by butternut squash risotto balls with courgette spaghetti and a tomato and caper dressing.
The main course was stuffed chicken breast served with mashed potato, summer vegetables and chicken gravy.
Diners had just enough room for the dark chocolate and orange tart with summer fruits, orange cream and raspberry sauce.
Assistant principal and food teacher at Montsaye Academy Karolyn Claypole said: “The students worked incredibly hard throughout the day, undertaking all roles from food preparation to greeting guests, serving and cleaning.
“This was an excellent opportunity for them to gain an insight into the catering industry.
“We are very grateful to Joe Buckley for funding this event and working with our students.”
It was also a chance for former Montsaye students to come back to the school and showcase their work.
Ashley Headland, who left Montsaye ten years ago, is now the general manager at The Tolly and Corey McAlindon, also a former student, is chef de partie and studying a level three qualification in professional cookery.
Ashley said: “It was good fun and I think the standard exceeded what we expected.
“It was good to be back and the students spent a whole day putting in a lot of work.
“I remember having chats with senior staff about future career paths when I was at school and saying that I wanted to be running a pub.
“Going back having met my goals and showcasing what we do at the pub was great.”