Chef delivers food education sessions to young people at London hospital

Chef delivers food education sessions to young people at London hospital
Ashley Marsh teaching students about practical cookery through the Adopt a School Programme
08/07/2019 - 05:00
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts chef Ashley Marsh has ‘adopted’ Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s adolescent mental health unit to teach students about practical cookery, kitchen safety and healthy eating.

The young people’s first session, which took place in early May, encouraged the students to explore food using their five senses and five tastes. So far students have created dishes including black quinoa salad, asparagus, mushroom and thyme risotto and a cauliflower asparagus salmon tart.

Marsh, who will run monthly sessions, said: “It really does give me great pleasure in seeing the young people open up and feel relaxed with what we’re doing.

“These sessions are delivered to individuals who have faced difficulty in life and if we can help take away that feeling from them for any period of time, or even help them on their way to recovery, then that’s all I can ask for.”

The partnership between Adopt a School and Lavender Walk was developed following a recommendation from John Sosna who experienced similar sessions during his time at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Sosna remembered the “beaming faces and total engagement of children and young people when working with the support and direction of some of the most remarkable chefs in the business.”

Lavender Walk is a new unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for young people aged 13-18 with mental health difficulties. The centre offers care for 12 people and a day programme for four people.  

Janette Steel, headteacher of Chelsea Community Hospital School, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in the Adopt a School programme.

“Having regular visiting chefs, experts in their field, attend the Lavender Walk Unit to help enthuse, inspire and educate our young people will greatly enhance their well-being and provide for better outcomes on discharge.”

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