A COLLABORATION between Nairn Academy and an award-winning restaurant was a recipe for success on the eve of the town’s annual six-day festival.
Pupils from S4, S5 and S6 classes worked with the Sun Dancer restaurant to fully prepare and serve the gala dinner at the launch of the Nairn Book and Arts Festival.
Head chef Peter Sealey and restaurant owner Lee Jack began working with the hospitality students in June and they did everything from choosing the menu to serving guests.
Mr Jack said he was delighted with their efforts and added: “I was absolutely delighted to be asked to support the pupils with the planning and execution for the gala dinner.
“I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of chefs and people who want to work in hospitality and the only way I believe we can do that is to get in there and work with them directly.
“We want to show all young people that the hospitality sector in Scotland is growing and there are fantastic opportunities to be had on our doorstep. It’s an exciting time for the industry.”
The menu included a choice of two starters, two main courses and a dessert, and the young chefs were also required to make their own bread rolls and chocolate fudge to serve with tea and coffee at the end of the meal.
Mr Jack said: “The pupils really stepped up to the mark. They came up with the menu and on the day itself, whilst Peter and I were there to support them with timings and service, they really did do absolutely everything from scratch.”
Jill Stewart, faculty head of health and well-being felt it had been invaluable experience and added: “I have a great class and whilst at the start some of them seemed quite daunted, they all really worked hard and gained confidence. On the day itself, the home economics kitchen could have easily been mistaken for a kitchen in a top restaurant.”
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