Free Family Bake-off Fun
Monday, 11 August 2014
Rebecca Harris MP and Andrew Sheldon, Deputy Mayor for Castle Point, took part in Seevic College’s fourth Free Family Bake-off on Thursday 31 July – joining in the fun with families from across the local area.
Justin Arnold, Seevic’s Executive Chef, ran the Bake-off in the College kitchens. Coinciding with the beginning of the summer holidays, the course was intended to help local parents and carers enjoy a great day of cooking alongside the young people in their lives.
Each Bake-off begins with a bread-making master class, where trainee-chefs of all ages start preparing the perfect dough for bread and pizzas. While the dough is left to prove, the class then cracks on with the second task: making choux pastry – with a little help from Seevic’s own ‘Granny Bakes’.
Granny, also known as Venetia Shaw (71), has been with the College for 12 years and makes almost all of the sweet treats for the students/staff and visitors of Seevic. In an average week she prepares 150 éclairs, 150 scones, 400 profiteroles, 300 cupcakes, 1000 flapjacks, as well as three and a half litres of chocolate sauce. She also makes one fruit cake and one lemon drizzle cake every day.
Rebecca Harris, Member of Parliament for Castle Point, came to the Bake-off directly from Parliament to join in the fun with her young son. Mrs Harris said: “It was a really brilliant and fun family course – Justin and Venetia were just fab – there’s no question; I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Bake-off to others, and even if you have no experience of cooking you’ll still have a wonderful time.”
Chef Justin said: “We wanted to bring local families into the college and give them the chance to cook together, and promote the Community Learning experience, and we’ve been very successful in this respect. We’ve had parents and carers in with their kids, but we’ve also had grandparents, aunties and uncles coming in to.
“I think we’ve really managed to showcase the potential of Community Learning projects like this one, and we hope to offer a lot more in the future too.”
The course proved so popular that Chef Justin extended his offer from one week to two weeks of classes – and the second week sold out just as quickly as the first.