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Pupils from Manorside Academy have been cooking up traditional Christmas puddings with the help of Chef Peter from the Marsham Court Hotel. The school in Evering Avenue, Poole, hosted Chef Peter Knighton for a festive cookery lesson in its new food tech room.
Children from the academy’s Tiddlywinks Pre-School right through to Year 6 learned how to prepare the festive dessert using the Marsham Court Hotel’s secret Christmas Pudding recipe.
The Marsham Court Hotel is in Russell-Cotes Road, Bournemouth and has just won the Dorset Business Awards’ prestigious Business Engagement with Education Award. It was also voted Large Hotel of the Year in this year’s Bournemouth Tourism Awards.
After adding the dry ingredients to the moist ones, the children took turns stirring their mixtures from east to west (right to left), as is the tradition, before each making a Christmas wish. Reception class pupil Martin, four, said: “I have stirred the mixture lots of times and it is really sticky.”
Head Girl Macy, 10, said: “It’s really interesting to see all the different ingredients that go into Christmas pudding. We also learned that Christmas pudding was originally savoury and contained partridge and rabbit.”
Manorside Academy’s associate principal, Sarah Rempel, said: “The children who took part in the surprise cookery lesson were picked because of their good work and conduct in school.
“It’s been wonderful to see the older children and the little ones cooking together in our fabulous, new food tech room.
“As well as zesting, chopping and stirring they have all learned some interesting facts about why we eat Christmas pudding and we’re very grateful to the Marsham Court and Chef Peter for such a fun experience.”
Chef Peter said: “At the Marsham Court we believe children should learn to cook from an early age and it’s great to see Manorside is encouraging this too.
“As a chef who’s used to working with an adult team it’s been really good fun cooking with the children. I’ve been really impressed with their behaviour and listening skills.
“They followed the Marsham Court’s own Christmas pudding recipe to the letter – minus the alcohol of course! – and have produced some great puddings which they will all be taking home to enjoy with their families over Christmas.”
Manorside Academy was established in April 2015 under the sponsorship of Ambitions Academy Trust (AAT).
AAT is renowned for transforming under performing schools and has taken St Aldhelm’s Academy, Poole, out of special measures and Queen’s Park Academy in Bournemouth and Longspee Academy in Poole to outstanding.