Dartford school student produces 200 Christmas puddings

Would-be chef mixes186 kilos of Cucina festive pud 

13 year-old Levi Bartley, a year 8 student at Leigh Technology Academy was hard at work  before and after school last week, to help make 200 Christmas puddings in his school kitchen.

Levi, who dreams of becoming a chef when he is older, has been working in a 2-man workforce with Ian Morgan, Executive Chef of school catering company Cucina.

When Morgan needed an extra pair of hands to get his company Christmas puddings made and out on time, Levi was the obvious choice:

“Young Levi is just so keen on being in the kitchen,” said Morgan. “He has a natural ability and works as hard as any chef that I have worked with, he loves helping us out in the school restaurant kitchen whenever he gets the opportunity.”

Levi has become such a part of Leigh Academy’s kitchen in fact, that the company has commissioned him a set of chefs’ whites, with his name embroidered on them.

“It was quite a natural thing for us to do,” added chef Morgan, “because he’s definitely one of the team at this school.”

The Christmas pudding are being sent as gifts to all of the catering company’s client schools. To help get them made and on the road in time, Levi’s school day has been starting at 7am in the kitchen, and then after lessons until until 8pm.

The puddings themselves – accompanied  by a jar of Morgan’s rum butter – have been made with Morgan’s own recipe, but this remains his closely guarded secret. “All I can say,” quipped Ian, “is that besides being a bit scrummy there’s a lot of it. We didn’t have any bowls big enough to mix it in, so we had to buy 2 giant plastic bins!”

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