Thanks to funding from Musselburgh Area Partnership, we’ve been able to respond to the many requests from our young people living in the local area to put on a new cooking group. The purpose of the group was to give young people the experience of working alongside a professional chef to help build confidence, learn about healthy eating, work as a team and try something new while devolving new skills. At the end of the course, they were offered the chance to gain their Elementary Food Hygiene (REHIS) certificate – something that is required for many areas of work from catering to childcare.
With the help of Phil Halfpenny, a chef from Harvey Nichols, the group cooked an international menu with all their favourite dishes – chilli con carne, lamb koftas, spaghetti carbonara, American burgers and chicken fajitas, to name but a few. Each week the group gained confidence, using new ingredients, learning different cooking techniques and trying strange and exotic foods, whilst socialising with their new colleagues around the dining table. Bridges Project staff willingly took on the role of taste testers every Friday lunchtime. Over the course of the 10 weeks, 12 young people participated in the group. Seven of them gained their Food Hygiene qualification, which was facilitated by Edinburgh Community Food, and we’re confident the remaining three will do so soon.
This was a successful project, which young people thoroughly enjoyed and gained so much from. It is a good example of how the Musselburgh Area Partnership is making a difference. Our aspiring young chefs grew in confidence, increased their awareness of healthy eating, and gained a recognised qualification to add to their CVs. Our staff tasters gained a couple of inches!
“It has been a positive learning experience”, “I learned about seasonal food and healthy eating”. “I would like to do it again”, “I feel more aware about healthy eating” “I like how everything was made from scratch”, “I feel more confident and have learned new recipes”.