Year 9&10 catering students serve gourmet 3-course meal to Denise Lewis, Gianfranco Zola and a host of high-profile guests

Young catering students at The Harefield Academy in Middlesex helped prepare and present a gastronomic dinner to 250 guests at a biennial Sports Personality Awards dinner held last week.

Denise Lewis, football legend Gianfranco Zola, Paralympic tennis silver medallist Andy Lapthorne and Hillingdon Lord Cllr Mayor Michael Markham were just some of the many high profile personalities to be served a gastronomic dinner at The Harefield Academy’s biennial ‘Sports Personality’ Award Dinner, held last Wednesday 17 October.

The gourmet 3-course meal was prepared by 12 chefs from the Academy’s caterer Cucina and served by 24 Harefield Academy catering students.

Pat Cottis, Executive Director at The Harefield Academy, former GB Olympic coach and host of the evening said:

“Among other things, the night is about inspiring youngsters to work through difficulties and strive even harder to achieve their goals.Companies like Cucina teach our young people just how important excellence is – this food was of an unbelievable standard, and loved by adults and youngsters alike. “

Commenting on the students’ work in preparing and presenting the meal, Cucina Director Sam Davies said:

“The students did a fantastic job – they had a lot to learn very quickly, it was a long day and they worked so hard. Setting tables and serving food of this standard and on this scale was such a great learning experience for them. And., let’s face it, how many other school food companies could mass-cater a meal of this standard?”

These thoughts were echoed by Cllr Michael Markham, Lord Mayor of Hillingdon, who said of the whole night:

“It was wonderful to meet so many youngsters excelling so well. They are a credit to The Harefield Academy and to the Borough of Hillingdon. The food and the service provided by the catering students was first class.”


Full menu for the evening:


Duck rillette on spiced savoury short bread, pear chutney

Smoked salmon tartlets, chive cream cheese

Peppered goats cheese, red onion marmalade (on a savoury drop pancake)


Mature cheddar & butternut squash tart with pea and sprout salad, tarragon & squash dressing, poppy seed flower pot bread

(By Andy Wilcock)

Main course

Roast breast of chicken stuffed with a sage & onion mousse, Confit chicken sausage, garlic fondant potato, autumnal vegetables, crispy bread sauce.

(By Ian Morgan & Andy Wilcock)

“Textures Of Chocolate”

Milk chocolate sponge, bitter chocolate mousse, chocolate croquant, chocolate ice-cream

(By Ian Morgan)

Cucina Restaurants serves gourmet food every day to over 50,000 UK school students.

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