Cornwall College helps companies Cook Well, Be Well
Cornwall College hosted the first ever Cook Well Be Well Challenge in the kitchens at the Camborne campus recently, as part of a joint initiative between the NHS Healthy Workplace programme and Cornish-based company Rodda’s.
The competition, aimed at encouraging people to create and cook healthy meals at home, saw teams from a number of local businesses prepare a two course menu for four people based on “The Eatwell Plate”, using recommended portion sizes of fresh ingredients and cupboard basics whilst remaining within a budget of £10.
Rachel Faulkner, Workplace Health Coordinator for the NHS Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health Promotion Service, and Dawn Hedger, Company HR Manager at Rodda’s Creamery in Scorrier near Redruth, organised the competition initially.
Dawn said: “Our Operations Director, Andrew Rodda, has always wanted the company to become involved in a venture that helps people cook, supports local producers and sparks new ideas, and this presented the perfect opportunity to do that. We wanted people to realise they can produce great meals on a budget using local produce and we’ve had some fantastic support from companies such as Brian Etherington Meat Company, Fal Fish and Newquay Fruit Sales, plus our sponsors Foot Anstey Solicitors, AC1 Recruitment and, of course, Cornwall College.”
Rachel added: “The Healthy Workplace programme supports companies in looking after their employees’ health and wellbeing, and the idea behind this competition is to promote healthy eating, not just at work but also at home with the family. It also gives people a chance to learn about ingredients, healthy substitutes and budgets whilst having fun and working as a team. This is the first time we’ve held this competition, plus it’s the first one that’s been run in Cornwall and so far it’s been a great success.”
Simon Cook, Corporate Curriculum Lead for Retail & Service Industries at Cornwall College, said: “Anything that raises the profile and encourages people to cook, eat healthily and have fun is something we want to be involved and in and we’re eager to support. Most of these teams have never entered a competition together before, but they’ve all put a lot of effort in and have done really well.
The teams taking part had 90 minutes to prepare, cook and present their menus to the judges who, after tasting each teams’ dishes, declared the St Ives School team the overall winners.
Rachael Martin, Food Technology teacher, and Naomi Cleveland, Design Technology Technician at St Ives School, earned a trophy for their team, as well as a set of professional chef’s knives donated by Cornwall College Camborne and a Rodda’s cool bag full of goodies for each team member.
Rachael said: “We’re really pleased to have won. We had lots of ideas and practiced hard, which obviously paid off! We have to work with budgets and costings as part of the food technology curriculum at school, so I found that part quite easy.”
Naomi added: “We even had a team member missing today, so it was extra pressure and work for Rachael and me to get everything done in time. But even though it’s been exhausting, it’s been great fun and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “Congratulations to the winning team from St Ives School, who worked hard to produce a delicious menu, meeting all the requirements of the competition and with a team member missing! The College is always supportive of initiatives like this, which involve and benefit the local community immensely. I’d also like to congratulate everyone involved in holding such a successful event, which I’m sure will go from strength to strength.”