Koreans film young Aylsham cooks

Young cooks from a north Norfolk school are set to appear in a TV documentary to be screened on the other side of the world.

A South Korean crew was at Aylsham High School yesterday filming GCSE catering students and learning about the town's membership of the international Cittaslow and Slow Food movements which celebrate locally-produced, seasonal food and community values.

The film crew, from the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), is travelling the world making a documentary about the importance of food education, according to researcher Gina McDonald.

She described Aylsham High as 'unique' in its support for healthy eating and locally-produced food.

Filming included students having lunch, and a pastry-making lesson in which National Trust mentors Alistair Bradshaw and David Knockie, who are regular visitors to the school, demonstrated quiche cases to Years 10 and 11 students.

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Mr Bradshaw is catering and functions manager and Mr Knockie head chef at Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer. Mrs McDonald asked them whether food education was important as many British students didn't understand where food came from.

The crew have already filmed in the USA and Japan and will now be travelling to Italy and France. They chose Aylsham after being put in contact with town councillor Liz Jones, who was leader of the town's Slow Food Convivium until last autumn.

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Miss Jones, who was also interviewed for the documentary, said the school and town worked closely to promote Slow Food ideals. Students organised a popular dinner every year as part of Aylsham's October Food Festival where they prepared a four-course meal based on local produce for up to 100 people.

A dozen pupils had also travelled to Italy in 2006 and used a field kitchen to cook for 80 people as part of the Orvieto con Gusto celebration of slow food.

Jill Willis, head of food and catering at the school, said Aylsham's Cittaslow links had given students many opportunities and a great deal of confidence.

Local food producers and sellers were happy to advise and visit, and students had been to Nortons Farm Shop and Dairy in Frettenham to see how milk was processed and butter was made, and around rare-breed pig breeder John Kenny's Happy Hogs farm at Spratts Green, near Aylsham.

The crew's visit was the second time visitors from South Korea have been to the school. A party toured in 2008 during two trips to Aylsham by Koreans interested in joining the Cittaslow movement. And last summer Miss Jones and county councillor David Harrison represented Aylsham at an international Cittaslow assembly in the South Korean capital Seoul.

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