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Cactus Kitchens

The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School Gives Celebrity Chef Experience to Battersea Youths in Summer Cookery Challenge

18 August 2015 10:00


A leaflet through the door of the home of the cookery school’s Director, Anna Ratcliffe, asking for donations for a summer camp for the Battersea Summer Scheme, led the team to devise a summer challenge for youths to acquire culinary skills and food knowledge. The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School, located at Cactus Kitchens, is connected with Cactus TV, producers of hit BBC One food show Saturday Kitchen Live, and is set to expand the participants’ vision of food, its preparation, and the careers available to them in the hospitality & TV fields.

The Cookery School’s summer challenge was launched in support of the Battersea Summer Scheme, a charity project to engage youths in the summer holiday and deflect them from crime. As the sister company to Cactus TV, producers of hit food programmes including Saturday Kitchen Live, The Roux Scholarship, kids’ cooking show Munch Box for ITV and Madhur Jaffreys’ Curry Nation, the Michel Roux Jr Cookery School hosts a range of cooking classes from essential practical skills to masterclass experiences with Michel Roux Jr, Monica Galetti and a number of celebrity chefs. The summer challenge for 15 to 18 year olds leverages the school’s association with Cactus TV and top restaurant Le Gavroche to give Battersea youths a new vison of food and a glimpse at careers available in the hospitality and TV industries.

Anna Ratcliffe said: “We want to open up the teenagers’ eyes to all the varied opportunities within the food industry, whether it be butchery, cheffing, front of house roles, or perhaps becoming a researcher, or home economist on a food show. It’s such an exciting and rewarding industry to work in and we want to share our passion and perhaps ignite a spark inside these kids.”

4 groups of 12 youths are taking part in the challenge on the 11, 12th, 18th and 19th August. Participants will visit the local butcher’s Moens, to learn about poultry, creating stock and have a go at boning a chicken before returning to the school with their fresh chicken fillets. A fun hospitality focused table setting challenge will take place, before enjoying a studio tour of Cactus TV’s media complex and learning how a hit food show is produced. In the cookery school they’ll be put through their paces as they create a show stopping main course from scratch, picking up valuable knife skills, top tips and gaining an insight into cooking with fresh, seasonal produce and new ingredients. They groups will round the day off enjoying their dishes in each other’s company in the school’s plush dining room.

The finalists selected from across the groups will spend an afternoon at the cookery school with Michel’s protégé, Chris King, Executive Chef for Chez Roux, at The Langham London Hotel, on Friday 21st August.

Millie Simpson, Principle Home Economist at the school said: “What amazed us was the fun the first two groups had. Many attendants learned how to set a table for the first time, discovered new ingredients and had never seen how and where a chicken fillet comes from. They were totally engaged for the whole day they spent with us.”

The diverse group of challengers come from every background in Battersea and will gain access to an increasingly popular lifestyle activity from the very heart of the celebrity cooking industry.

Customer Relations Manager, Hannah Birch said: “Becoming a celebrity Chef for a day at the Michel Roux Jr Cookery School won’t just teach them cookery skills. We hope it will open career possibilities for the challengers. It’s a great way to spend a summer day for these young people with added benefits for them down the line.”

Notes to Editors:
For Interview requests, press comment or pictures contact: Hannah Birch, Customer Relations Manager, Michel Roux Jr. Cookery School – Tel 020 7091 4800
Website Michel Roux Jnr Cookery School & Cactus Kitchen

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Anna Ratcliffe


Tel: 020 7091 4800

About Cactus Kitchens

Cactus Kitchens, home of the Michel Roux Jr Cookery School. Offering an array of unique cooking classes in London including the Saturday Kitchen Experience.

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