GCSE students invited to lunch at Thetford hotel as chef cooks their menu

Catering students and staff from Thetford Academy have an international-inspired lunch at the Thomas

Catering students and staff from Thetford Academy have an international-inspired lunch at the Thomas Paine Hotel. - Credit: Archant

Catering students learnt about the heat of a professional kitchen after they were invited to lunch at a local hotel.

The 17 Thetford Academy Pupils dined at the Thomas Paine Hotel and listened to talks from hotel manager Gez Chetal about the restaurant trade.

For their two-course meal on Wednesday the Year 11 students had designed their own menu as part of a GCSE project about international cuisine, with Italian favourites lasagne and pizza gracing the table alongside American burgers and Mexican fajitas.

Last week the group visited for lunch and listened to Mr Chetal talk about the restaurant business, from plate presentation to portion control. This week he spoke to them about the use of spices in cookery and about getting into the hospitality trade.

The students' menu was prepared by the hotel's head chef, Rodica Luca.

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Beverley Andrew, catering teacher at Thetford Academy, said: 'As it is their chosen menu for their exam, this gives them an idea of what it looks and tastes like. It will help them decide if they want to improve it.

'Gez gives the students an idea of what the everyday running of a hotel is like.

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'Cooking is a good skills for them to have. They can go on to study it in college, or get a part-time job in the industry, but it's still a useful skill.'

Mr Chetal has previously given talks at Thetford Academy and hosted the catering students last year at the Thomas Paine Hotel for an afternoon tea while they were studying the British tradition.

He said: 'I like to teach them about these sort of things, because there is a world out there after school.

'In this trade, it is about taste, presentation, eating discipline, but also portions and costing. Hotels may look glamorous, but there is a lot of hard work behind it.'

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