Pro chefs teach Ilkeston students to cook

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Professional chefs from a top Derby restaurant gave students at Kirk Hallam Community Academy a cooking masterclass.

Year ten food technology students were treated to a demonstration at the academy by Matt Gabbitas and Jack Pall from Masa restaurant.

The aim of the masterclass was to give the students inspiration when they tackle part of their course which requires them to design a new product.

Claire Linley, food technology teacher, said students had been really looking forward to seeing the chefs in action.

She said: “It’s great for them to see professional chefs doing their job and the way they present their dishes, hopefully this will give them ideas and help them to be creative.

“As part of their course they have to design a new product, they could adapt an existing recipe but it has to be something innovative.

“Some of them will eat out regularly but some of them won’t so it’s good for them to see and taste restaurant quality food.

“We would like to thank Masa and Matt and Jack for giving our students this fantastic experience.”

Matt and Jack talked to students about why they became chefs before cooking a main course and dessert.

Matt, Masa head chef, cooked his own version of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich but used mackerel instead of bacon while Jack, Masa sous chef, prepared a dessert inspired by the flavours in a Jaffa Cake.

Matt said: “I got a job as a waiter and I went into a kitchen when I was 16 and I’ve never looked back.

“I’ve worked in Italy and Portugal, I’ve worked under a Michelin star chef and this year we are hoping that Masa will be Michelin recommended and we’ll find out in October.

“We use seasonal food and today we’ve brought mackerel from Cornwall, heritage tomatoes from Leicester and Derbyshire watercress.

“The inspiration for these dishes comes from a BLT and a Jaffa Cake, that’s where the creativity comes from, we’ve taken elements from them and broken them down and thought about how we can make them better.

“We use lots of different inspiration for our food tasting events at the restaurant like Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes, wartime rationing and Alice in Wonderland.”