Too many chefs? Not at Ross High School as 200 pupils get their first taste of cookery

Pupils at Ross High School have been given a taste of life in the kitchen thanks to a year-long training programme with Edinburgh College lecturers.

More than 200 pupils have benefited from the three-week programme delivered by the college’s Professional Cookery team. The aim was to get them interested in cooking, kitchen skills and the importance of a balanced diet.

Groups of 20 pupils took part in two-hour cookery sessions with lecturers Chris Cockburn and Paranthaman Arumaichelvam each Thursday for three-week blocks to help them develop their skills and learn new recipes, pupils learned dishes including traditional vegetable soup, fruit scones and lemon drizzle cake. Chris and Paran – who are based at the college’s eh15 training restaurant – attended the school every Thursday since the start of the academic year in August last year.

Former Ross High School pupil Chris Cockburn said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic to go back to the school I attended and teach the pupils here basic cooking.

“We’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The enthusiasm shown by the pupils has been amazing. I remember when we first started we were stopped by children in the corridor asking when it was their turn to cook with us.

“We designed the programme to ensure that the pupils get a good introduction to cookery learning a variety of skills including baking, knife skills, food combinations and essential food hygiene rules – and they’ve all taken to it brilliantly throughout the year. Both Paran and I can’t wait to come back again next year.”

Chris and Paran will return to Ross High next session after the success of this year’s programme. The Milton Road Campus-based chefs will be expanding the programme and will spend time working with Physical Education and Wellbeing classes to highlight the importance of having a healthy and balanced diet.

Ross High School head teacher Paul Reynolds said: “The partnership with Edinburgh College has been incredible for our young people. The pupils have loved the sessions and the staff in the school have thoroughly enjoyed working with Chris and Paran too.

“Both Chris and Paran are really committed to the pupils’ learning in this area and I cannot thank them both enough. It really has been partnership working at its best. I am absolutely thrilled this is set to continue into the next school session and would like to thank Edinburgh College and the lecturers for their support of Ross High School.”