Leeds pupils deck the hall with boughs... and ginger!

PIC: Bruce Rollinson
PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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Top chefs were joined by students to put the finishing touches to Oulton Hall’s annual show-stopping gingerbread house.

Four chefs from Oulton Hall invited students from Farnley Academy to decorate ginger bread tiles for the house, which features annually during the festive season.

Fronted by executive chef Norman Mackenzie, the team of four, including Ryan Masey, Jordan Hartley and Rafael de Silva, had been helping the students every other week in afterschool workshops as part of FutureChef 2014.

As a festive treat, the elite team of chefs invited the students to view the completed gingerbread house, complete with their own designed tiles.

The students were then shown around the Grand Hall and the kitchens.

The chefs also judged and chose the winning tile which was created by student Jaymi Williams, 15.

Her prize was a free meal for up to five people at the Calverley Grill restaurant at the hotel.

FutureChef 2014, hosted by the charity Springboard, is a nationwide culinary initiative helping young people aged 12 to 16 to explore food and cooking as a life skill.

Chef Ryan Masey said: “Futurechef is a great opportunity for the younger generation. They love having the opportunity to make food themselves and then use these skills back at home in the kitchen.

“The students were very excited to visit Oulton Hall and their faces lit up when they saw the gingerbread house.”

Executive chef Norman Mackenzie, a judge in the West Yorkshire FutureChef finals and known for nurturing talent within the food industry, said: “It is important to train and pass on skills to the future generation. FutureChef gives students the opportunity to interact with professional chefs in the industry.”

FutureChef is aimed at helping students develop their culinary talent and help them make their initial steps into the cooking and hospitality industry.

The FutureChef West Yorkshire local final will take place at the Printworks Campus at Leeds City College on November 20, judged by head chefs from Oulton Hall, Sodexo and the Doubletree by Hilton.

For more information visit: http://charity.springboard.uk.net/programmes-activities/futurechef.

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