OCR has revealed the secret ingredient of the support of award winning British chef and food scientist Heston Blumenthal for its draft new Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE. Heston Blumenthal, and a team of chefs from The Fat Duck in Bray, met a group of enthusiastic students from Years 9, 10 and 11 at St Michael’s Catholic College in London to demonstrate some of the cooking methods that students will learn as part of OCR’s new GCSE.
Heston’s workshop at the school, which was shown on BBC Breakfast, included using eggs to make a stable emulsified sauce (mayonnaise) and as a raising agent (meringue), and an eye catching liquid nitrogen demonstration.
Complementing the new GCSE
Blending Heston Blumenthal with OCR’s new Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE makes perfect sense, says OCR Subject Specialist, Sandra Marsh:
“Heston’s natural curiosity and scientific approach to cooking complement the new GCSE perfectly and will enthuse students as they discover the essentials of food science, build strong practical cookery skills and a good understanding of nutrition. His enthusiasm and his input in developing new resources is fantastic.”
“We have developed our new draft GCSE (9-1) Food Preparation and Nutrition qualification in collaboration with teachers. The qualification will support teachers and students to explore the relationship between food as a life skill and a science, as well as helping them to understand the huge challenges that we face globally to supply the world with nutritious and safe food.”
Science behind cooking
Heston Blumenthal said: “My own passion for food began with questioning everything about the science behind cooking – which is what we need to encourage kids to do in schools. Helping them to understand why eggs make a soufflé rise or liquid nitrogen produces smoother ice cream makes a massive difference. It’s how they get engaged, learn and develop the confidence to experiment and get creative in the kitchen.”
Conor Mahon, Vice Principal of St Michael’s Catholic College, added: “We believe in offering all our students a rich, broad, and balanced curriculum so subjects like food are always valued. We look forward to our students learning new practical skills, such as de-boning a chicken, and to the new scientific approach this GCSE course will provide.”
Heston Blumenthal will be working with OCR on a series of explanatory videos to bring the syllabus to life in the classroom, and ‘Heston’s hints’ will be folded into a new Hodder Education text book that will accompany the GCSE.
Pictured: OCR Subject Specialists Sandra Marsh (left) and Gill Taylor, with Heston Blumenthal and food teacher Scott Bradley (right).
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