The Catering Academy went digital during lockdown, hosting zoom catch up meetings and the ever popular zoom cooking sessions. Thankfully we are now able to serve lunches in the centre again. It is great to see people face to face, if only to confirm that they do actually have legs, they are generally a lot louder, and they don't freeze every couple of minutes!
We welcomed people back in for lunches about four weeks ago. Safety is still very important so numbers are limited to people attending farm projects for the whole day, with plans to extend this when it is wise to do so. Cleaning is still a high priority but with the laughter, conversations and renewing of old friendships it just shows how vitally important getting back to some level of normality has been.
Lunches range from Crag House burgers (I wouldn't have got away without putting these on the menu!), to Chicken Korma and cauliflower rice with homemade mango chutney. The puddings so far have ranged from apple crumble and custard to triple chocolate brownies. One of my students is also making his now famous white chocolate and raspberry cookies.
The Academy is also providing The Granary Shop with a variety of takeaway meals for them to sell.
With all these extra jobs I have taken one of my students on for a full five-day week. Because of all his extra kitchen time I thought it best we get him some training and qualifications.
So, this week we signed him up for an online course and he has now passed, with flying colours, his Level 2 in Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering. This is a huge achievement for him and has done his confidence the world of good.
We would value prayers for him and the other Academy students as they get used to the new routine for lunches, prayers for safety for the people who come up for lunch, and for those who serve it . Also please pray for the future of the building in whatever format that is and the extra work involved in making much needed changes to the size of the eating area.