Students take on Navy cook-off challenge

RIPON Grammar School students were challenged to a cooking competition by the Royal Navy.

Year 10 food & nutrition students were divided into four teams and handed boxes of ingredients by serving members of the Royal Navy Catering Services.

Cooking against the clock, they were asked to create a main course and dessert, with each team handed a mystery selection of special ingredients to enable them to make their dish stand out from the others.

Students had one hour to present their finished dishes – fish cakes and sticky toffee pudding - during the interactive MasterChef-style lesson.

The contest formed just one part of the day, which saw the Navy representatives outline the varied career paths on offer to school leavers interested in joining the UK’s naval force, with roles including nursing, engineering and working on aircraft and submarines.

The teenagers also got to find out about life in Royal Navy catering, as the Navy cooks, Kathryn Ross and Michael Wiggins – who have worked with top chefs including Gordon Ramsey and cooked a banquet for our late Queen – spoke about service life and provided an insight into the Navy’s educational, sporting and social opportunities.

Head of food & nutrition, Louise Solden, described the session as hugely enjoyable: “Students benefited from hands-on experience of cooking two, high-skill dishes in an exercise that tested their initiative, teamwork, communication and time-keeping skills, something that will help prepare them for their GCSE.

“The time constraints meant they had to focus and work as cohesive teams in order to finish the challenge, and they all performed fantastically.”

RGS head of careers, Bob Walker, added: “All the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learnt new skills working as a team, and produced some great food. They also learnt a lot about the Navy and career options within the Navy.”