GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition students at Bayside School were visited last week by Chef Patron Nico Fitzgerald, who demonstrated a number of high-skilled dishes.
Nico is a London-based chef who was born and raised in Gibraltar. He recently reached the quarter finals in Masterchef: the Professionals and is currently in the process of opening his own restaurant in St Albans, Llanito by Nico Fitzgerald.
GCSE students work towards making 3 complex and layered dishes of this nature in just 3 hours at the end of their GCSE. Watching Nico cover some of the skills they have already been building and showing them how to put together attractively presented plates gives them the confidence that they can produce quality dishes at the end of the course.
This amazing opportunity saw Bayside's Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE students watch Nico make confit chicken leg and pan-fried chicken breast with spiced celeriac purée along with boulangère potatoes and charred tender stem broccoli, accompanied by a chicken and madeira jus and tarragon oil. This was followed by an apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream and raspberry fluid gel.
During the demonstration Nico asked the students questions and offered explanations to link the cooking methods to the theory they are developing in their GCSE. Students were fascinated by the multiple layers of skills and the level of preparation that goes into making these dishes in a restaurant. The different career pathways in this valuable profession and the possible routes they could take should they wish to gain experience in this field were explained.
Senior Teacher Analise Benitez said: ‘This was a really valuable opportunity for students to learn first-hand from a professional in the field. Thank you Nico - it not only looked stunning but we can honestly say it tasted absolutely amazing!’