Rockliffe Hall recently welcomed three chefs from North East schools into its kitchens as part of nationwide initiative, Host a School Chef.

Tracy Burns, Karen Talbot and Sharon Blakemore stepped away from their usual daily tasks of preparing, cooking and serving hundreds of school meals, to experience the world of fine dining at the five red star resort in Hurworth, near Darlington.

The activity, organised by LACA  (Lead Association in Catering in Education) offers school chefs the opportunity to spend a day in the kitchen of some of the most exclusive restaurants in the country, working alongside some of the most celebrated chefs in the catering industry, demonstrating the breadth and depth of talent of today’s education caterers.

Tracy from Chandlers Ridge Academy in Nunthorpe spent the day with Executive Chef of the Brasserie and New Hall, Aaron Craig, while Karen Talbot from Hartburn Primary School and Sharon Blakemore from Wynyard Primary School worked alongside Head Chef of The Orangery, Gary Duffy.

Sharon said: “I had a fabulous experience working alongside such dedicated chefs, full of so much knowledge. We were made to feel so welcome and it’s a day I will not forget. I loved it.”

“It was a pleasure to welcome Tracy, Sharon and Karen to Rockliffe Hall and great to share experiences and knowledge. School caterers across the country do a very important job on a daily basis, in making sure that our children are well fed during the school day, ensuring that their concentration and energy levels are at the optimum for learning.”

Aaron Craig, Executive Chef of the Brasserie & New Hall 

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