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Hampton Hill Junior School pupils create pop-up restaurant
Safia Turk 8 or 9, Arton Shala 9, Christian Grose 8, Harri Jones 9, Archie Sargent-Cook 8 or 9,Gracie Henson 8. , Verity Steel 9, Tahlia MacDonald 8
Little chefs transformed classrooms into a pop-up restaurant to serve up some tasty treats for the community.
Year 4 pupils at Hampton Hill Junior School, in St James’s Avenue, applied for different jobs in the kitchen and front of house for their very own restaurant, which served food from around the world.
They had to budget and shop for ingredients, take bookings, prepare the dining room, cook the food, and serve three courses to two sittings of up to 30 people for two weeks.
To make the restaurant as professional as possible, the eight- and nine-year-olds threw themselves into waiter training workshops from staff at nearby Piazza Firenze.
They created handmade menus each day, laid tables with crockery borrowed from Leonid Rozman, arranged fresh bouquets donated from Branching Out Flowers and performed live music for guests.
Cashier Kieran Moses collected money from customers for their meals, which were priced between £2 and £3, and sold eggs from the school’s 10 chickens.
He said: “As a shopper I went around to all the different shops to get things. But as a cashier you get to sort everything out and see the happy customers off.”
Behind the scenes the children cooked up a storm under the watchful eyes of professional chef Janey Orr, with Helen Susan and Luis Mulraine from Merits Restaurant in Richmond College, Twickenham.
With produce supplied from Robsons Butchers, Get Fresh Greengrocers and Cavan Bakery, the young cooks made specialities including a Moroccan tagine, lamb kofte and Spanish paella.
They battled through tears to chop up bags of onions for French onion soup and showed great restraint when making piles of profiteroles with chocolate sauce.
Pastry chef and waitress Ellie Wrigglesworth said: “I made a fruit salad and crème caramel but I like being a waitress because you get to meet new people and it’s just quite fun.”
Assistant Headteacher Robert Waiting said the school ran the project in previous years but this was the first time they had done it on such a large scale and opened to the community.
He said: “It’s really lovely to have that life learning experience for the children. It gives it all a real meaning.”
Phoebe Hamblin organised reservations and was a social media co-ordinator.
She said: “Meeting people has been the best thing and seeing it all come together.
“We are going to put a blog of it all up on the school website when we are finished. It’s exciting.”