FOOD and nutrition students from Ripon Grammar School had a cracking time working with a chef based at the world’s first egg restaurant, which opened in North Yorkshire earlier this year.
Talented sous chef Scott Stevenson, from Yolk Farm restaurant in Minskip, demonstrated the precision and artistic skills involved in plating up a stunning, vibrant modern dish to a professional standard.
His inventive ‘Just Beet It’ recipe contains beetroot cooked in a variety of ways, including pureed, crisped, pickled and powdered, along with edible flowers and garnishes – and, of course, an egg on top.
Students, preparing for their GCSE practical exam in January, got the chance to plate up their own miniature version of the popular restaurant dish, brimming with the classic flavours of freshly grown Yolk Farm produce.
Scott, who trained under an acclaimed Italian chef, showed students how to pay close attention to the ‘rule of three’ in design, looking at where the eye is drawn, the combination of textures and flavours and the balance of colours on the plate.
He encouraged students to use their creativity and professional skills, while also putting their own twist on the contemporary vegetarian dish.
Patrick Cunningham, 16, from Ripon, who finds the life skills he learns in food and nutrition useful, said this workshop was sure to help with his GCSE practical exam.
“It’s really useful for our presentation skills, showing us how to do it using the actual techniques chefs use in commercial kitchens.”
Molly Darbyshire, 15, from Burton Leonard, who enjoys cooking as a hobby, said: “It’s taught me how important it is to bring colour to the plate.”
Boarding student Scarlett Eyles, 15, from Northallerton, said it had given her a new insight into a different type of restaurant: “As well as helping with my exam, it’s given me new ideas about cooking with different ingredients.”
Fin Middlemiss, 16, from Boroughbridge, added: “I learnt quite a lot about presentation but also about different types of food. I didn’t realise you could make so much out of beetroot.”
Head of food and nutrition, Mrs Solden, said students had been eggs-tremely egg-cited about Scott’s visit – and grateful for his eggs-pertise: “It definitely did not disappoint. As a result of Scott’s fantastic lesson, students now have a much better idea of how to present and style dishes in order to make them look more creative and imaginative.”
*Yolk Farm is the world’s first egg restaurant, based on a real, working free-range egg farm in Minskip, near Boroughbridge. Visitors can see their hens ranging on their six acre paddock, alongside alpacas, pigs and pygmy goats. There is also an award-winning farm shop, where you can learn how to poach the perfect egg and a burgeoning market garden which provides fresh fruit and vegetables for the restaurant.