Ready Steady Cook Challenge 2016

On Thursday 30th June our school hall became the scene for a very special cookery challenge. The children competed in groups against each other to create and cook a meal from a list of ingredients and some store cupboard staples.

Last Thursday the teams were given their ingredients and access to the internet. They were allowed the afternoon to research recipes and come up with ideas of their own for dishes to impress the judges.

The Blue Team were given chicken, apples, pasta and mushrooms. Although the brief was to create a dish, the Blue Team created three dishes: a starter of garlic mushrooms, a main course of chicken and pasta, and a dessert: apple cinnamon cake. Sadly they underestimated the amount of work involved and their plan for their mushrooms had to be modified. They are to be commended for their ingenuity; they cooked their mushrooms in a garlic and cream sauce and this was, for me, the dish of the day: totally delicious!

The Red Team were given pork fillet, pineapple, rice and courgettes. The judges were impressed with their ideas; the pineapple was caramelised in butter and sugar and was a real highlight. The pork was marinated in herbs from our very own herb garden and cooked to perfection, it was served with rice and fried courgettes. The presentation of this dish was well thought out and was the best of the competition.

The GreenTeam were given cod, potatoes, peas and strawberries. This team kept it simple by serving fish and chips and strawberries and cream, a very British dish but with a nice twist. The cod was topped with a lovely herb and mustard crust and the potatoes were sliced and roasted with oil and seasoning. It was a truly lovely dish.

Lastly, the Yellow Team were given steak, couscous, peppers and bananas. I was so impressed with the dessert from this team, a toffee banana pudding. The team made their own toffee and their sponge would have received a Paul Hollywood handshake had they been in the Bake Off tent. Their couscous was beautifully seasoned and served with grilled peppers; the steak had been fried in butter and was lovely and tender.

As you can imagine, the judging was tough and there was only 2 points between the teams who all worked very hard in a space of 75 minutes. The class produced nine dishes between them using one oven – now that is impressive! The thought and creativity that went into the dishes shone through in the flavours and the teamwork was superb.

In the end the judges agreed that the Blue Team should be the winners because of the sheer ingenuity shown with their mushroom dish. Congratulations to them.

I have a fabulous time teaching cookery at Culverstone Green and it was such a thrill for me to be presented with such an amazing array of dishes with such stunning flavours. The children really understand the importance of seasoning and gentle handling of foods and flavour combinations.

This challenge has shown the high level of skills learned and the passion that the children have for cooking, it was the perfect way to spend their last cookery lesson.

Well done Year 6!

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