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The Royal Army lands at Calderdale College for Industry Week

27th March 2015 <b>The</b> Royal Army lands at Calderdale College for Industry Week

As part of Industry Week, students from Public Services and Professional Cookery received a visit from a number of regiments from the Armed Forces including the 4 PARA, Royal Corps of Signals and the Royal Logistic Corp.

A variety of activities were put on for the students including a climbing wall and the chance to try out some of the kit. A cookery competition also took place, with a mixture of cookery and public services students taking part.

Dave Kitson, Public Services Tutor said: “Industry week is an ideal time to get the army in. The students benefit as they get so see what we teach in the classroom put into real life, it’s a fantastic event and its grown year on year. A couple of students have actually signed up for when they finish their public services course as reservists initially, with a view to joining the regular army full time The cookery competition was the brain child of Professional Cookery tutor Richard Walsh and we’re going to develop it for next year.”

For the cookery competition learners had to make a main course and dessert with food from a 10 man army ration pack, within 2 and a half hours. To make the competition even fiercer a group of students were chosen to cook outside in a field kitchen, giving them the chance to find out what it’s really like to cook when out on manoeuvres.

Simon Taylor, Professional Cookery tutor said:  “We’re having a really fun day. Half of the students are inside, the others are outside in the field kitchen, which is freezing but they get to see how it really works in the army. It’s really valuable, it’s been exciting and it’s just great.”

Lynne Mackenzie, Chair of Governors said: “I think today has been absolutely brilliant on two counts, first of all the actual meeting of the various sections of the army, I think watching the students get a real reality check of what you have to do as a solider, you’ve got to be disciplined, you’ve got to be controlled, you’ve got to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. As far as the cookery is concerned it’s absolutely brilliant, they’re all doing something different. They’ve all got really good ideas as to what they want, it’s really impressive watching them work together as a team but even more impressive is watching them do it in a field kitchen. They’ve got less equipment; they’ve got an oven that is a quarter of the size of the ones inside, watching them work with the equipment that they’ve got has been absolutely fascinating.”

The cookery students in the field kitchen were given 20 litres of water and out of that they had to cook a meal, wash up and make tea and coffee. They also had to work with a limited amount of equipment, with only 3 pans to work with and an oven that consisted of a tin box, with no regulator. The students had to learn how to regulate the heat in the oven or risk burning all their food.

Corinne, Master Chef 4 Para Staff Sergeant “They have done very well, by doing this task they are learning improvised cooking, hygiene, nutrition and working as a team, so there is a lot to gain for doing an activity like this. They’re doing really well, it shows them that there is more to cooking you don’t have to be in a kitchen.”

Winners of the competition were the Level 2 cookery students that worked in the field kitchen made chicken fajitas and jam sponge and entry 3 students who cooked chilli and rice and Chelsea buns.

Ben Lee, Level 2 Professional Cookery who worked in the field kitchen Said: “It’s a fun task. It’s something I did last year and I was really excited when we drew the short straw to come out here, it’s really good and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a lot different to the kitchens that we have, we’ve made a chicken fajita with a salsa and potato wedges with the rations. It’s quite hard to think about the things you can make from the ration packets.”

Industry week is one of the many activities that takes place throughout the college. Find out more about what it’s like to study at Calderdale College.

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