Professional Culinary Arts students from Reading College appeared in a live radio broadcast on Saturday 3 October.
The broadcast by RG2 Radio took place from 12-2.30pm at the King’s Road campus as part of the annual Reading Town Meal. Three professional culinary arts students recreated the dishes that they designed recipes for the Reading Town Meal website and were interviewed about their dishes by the radio presenter.
The students have been busy from the start of term designing free recipes and resources for the Reading Town Meal website. They learnt about sustainability and what it really means to individuals, the local community and the planet, from locally grown produce to packaging and low carbon food production, animal welfare, public health and land use.
The Mayor of Reading, Councillor David Stevens, attended the broadcast and delivered a keynote speech to open the event, which also included a quiz and interviews with local educational and development project, Food4families, who have been supporting households during lockdown and individuals who were running virtual workshops.
Some of the students also gave out free fruit and vegetables to local residents, which were kindly donated by local allotment holders, foragers and growers, from the Reading Town Meal stall at Forbury Gardens on 26-27 September and RISC on 2-3 October. The student volunteers were also on hand to share information on sustainability and making informed choices when buying food.
Carl Lorriman, age 16, from Reading is studying Professional Culinary Arts Level 1 at Reading College and cooked a roasted stuffed pepper served with roasted vegetables.
He said: “Taking part in the Reading Town Meal gave me experience of voluntary work. I was nervous about being interviewed by the radio, but it was a good insight into something that professional chefs do on a regular basis. I also learnt new techniques in the kitchen including sweating vegetables and food presentation.”
Emily Kolsteren, age 17, from Tilehurst, decided to cook a Dutch vegetable and cheese quiche, which she has cooked every year as part of a trip to Belgium but was unable to go this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, to inspire local residents to create a delicious and healthy meal.
All of the dishes were tasted by the radio presenter and team, as well as representatives from the Reading Town Meal. Emily’s quiche was a firm favourite.
Deva Douillet, age 16, from Reading, took inspiration from a cake that her mum had made when she was a child and recreated a plum crumble cake.
She said: “It was really fun to get involved with the Reading Town Meal and it was nice to be able to come in and use a professional kitchen. I also really enjoyed taking part in the radio broadcast, it was like nothing that I’ve done before, and it was very lively.”
Mark Allsop, Professional Cookery lecturer at Activate Learning, said: “Our professional culinary arts students have really enjoyed getting involved with the Reading Town Meal this year by designing recipes, giving out fruit and vegetables to local residents, learning about and promoting sustainability and taking part in a live radio broadcast with RG2 Radio as this has allowed them to engage with a community project, learn new skills and knowledge and discover new experiences.”
James Frost, Intern at Reading Town Meal said: “This year, we decided to do more virtual things because we couldn’t have our usual meal in Forbury Gardens due to the pandemic. The live radio broadcast enabled us to connect the local community together, even though we couldn’t all be in the one location.
"By working with the Reading College students, it allowed them to still cook the meals and give recipe suggestions on our website for people to cook at home alongside promoting local growers, sustainability and home grown food as part of the aims of the Reading Town Meal.
"The food that the students created was excellent and the online recipes have been very popular.”
Find out about our Hospitality and Professional Cookery courses. Visit the Reading Town Meal website to download the recipes created by our students and find out more.