Following on from the success of ‘The Great Rowsley Menu 2010 & 2011’, children from year 6 of Rowsley C of E Primary will once again be visiting the multi-award winning East Lodge hotel and restaurant for The Great Rowsley Menu 2012! The innovative project comprises of a series of structured lessons, giving a unique insight to the hospitality industry and culminating in a fabulous ‘graduation banquet’ for pupils to showcase their new skills to parents, and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Year 6 pupils have already visited East Lodge for a lesson in front of house skills from the hotel’s award-winning hospitality team, where pupils came top of the class for customer service and showed promising signs for the future. For their second lesson, the children were allowed access to the hallowed East Lodge kitchen to see Elyzian Hospitality Executive Group Chef, Simon Bradley at work, an experience normally reserved for those dining at the prestigious chef’s table. The hands on approach to ‘The Great Rowsley Menu’ meant the children were not only able to observe, but with Simon’s expertise and guidance, they were directly involved in creating their own dishes in the triple AA rosette kitchen.
Throughout the project, the pupils are being supported and mentored by Deputy Managing Director Iain Hardman who has now made ‘The Great Rowsley Menu’ an annual fixture in the neighbouring primary school’s calendar for three consecutive years. With two more lessons planned, preparations are well under way for the signature ‘graduation banquet’ event at the end of the school year, where the parents will get to ‘mark’ the children’s culinary efforts.
”Teaching the students valuable life skills is a key part of the programme, together with the fun of learning about the food and the hospitality industry,” said Iain. “With the majority of East Lodge employees from the surrounding local area, East Lodge hopes that the students will see that careers in hospitality are varied, exciting and rewarding. The overall aim of the partnership between Rowsley C of E Primary school and East Lodge is to encourage the younger generation to have a healthy attitude towards food, while developing a practical understanding of the food chain and the hospitality industry.”
2 July will see the children visit Highfield House Farm, East Lodge’s local supplier of high quality meat for its menus. The visit will demonstrate to the children the importance of sourcing fresh local produce and paint a wider picture of how supplier partnerships are fundamental to successful business.
“Everyone at East Lodge is enjoying helping the children create their own Great Rowsley Menu again and it’s great that we can include a trip to Highfield House this year,” Iain continued. “The success of last two ‘Great Rowsley Menus’ has meant there are high hopes for this year’s graduation dinner, the grand finale to the project. It gives the children the chance to put all they have learnt in to practise and proudly show off their achievements while also giving parents chance to see what the project is all about.”