The Great British Make-Over: Keswick School unveil their new kitchens!
After 18-months of strategic fundraising by Lake District Hotels to revamp the Keswick School Food Technology kitchens, the finished result was finally revealed! Not only are the new kitchens super-swanky and funky-fresh, but they look like they could be the best school kitchens in the entire country…
The opening ceremony took place on Friday 20th September in which the ribbon was cut to reveal the brand-new kitchens in front of the school’s governors, directors and trustees. Also in attendance was local community groups, the Mayor of Keswick and Allerdale, plus sponsors and contractors who made this possible.
The event was followed by Keswick School’s annual prize giving where our Group Director and ex Keswick School pupil, Dani Hope, was invited to give a speech.
“Both staff and students have been excited to see the refurbished Food Technology kitchen at the start of a new academic year. This fantastic teaching space, provided through the amazing support of the Lake District Hotels group, will encourage more children to learn about cooking and understand the importance of a good diet. The design captures the essence of the Great British Bake Off and I’m sure will inspire more students to seriously consider a career in catering and hospitality in the future.” – Simon Jackson, Keswick School Headteacher
Turning a vision into a reality
The idea to transform the school kitchens into a more modern, ‘Bake-Off’ style department was first conjured up back in January 2018 following a school visit. The school were selected as our Charity of the Year and thus, the renovation project took flight.
The kitchens were previously so out-of-date with today’s teaching kitchens, our Group Director, Kit Graves, had the incredible idea of not only renovating the run-down department, but to turn it into something that would really ignite the pupils’ passion for cooking.
This is where we came up with the idea of styling the units based on the ones seen in the ‘Great British Bake Off’. Since the show is exceedingly popular with a whole array of folk, we wanted to recreate the stylish environment seen on TV to try encourage more youngsters to take up future careers within the hospitality industry – an area so dear to our hearts!
The cost of the project amounted to the grand total of £30,000 which was completely worth it when we all saw the finished piece and the look on the pupils’ faces.
To mark the momentous occasion (and keep in-line with the catering theme), Mizu’s head chef Kasun Jayasooriya carried out a spectacular sushi demonstration which was projected onto the white board using state of the art technology for all to see.
As well as a riveting sushi demonstration, other tasty Mizu canapes were provided to guests throughout the event, as well as a welcoming glass of fizz to help guests celebrate in style.
The kitchen project is just the start of our working relationship with Keswick School, as we plan to maintain strong relations well into the future. Imminent plans involve our talented chefs to provide cooking demonstrations within the school, as well as introducing students into work experience roles, and apprenticeships within the hotel group.
“From the initial idea, the project became much bigger than any of us had anticipated, but with a lot of hard work and determination we got there in the end. I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the project, with a special thank you to all individuals and businesses who made generous donations – Lake District Hotels Ltd, Underscar Manor, Thomas Armstrong Group, Keswick Rotary Club, Jennings Brewery, Hyde Harrington Chartered Surveyors, Caterite Food & Wineservice Ltd, Pioneer Foodservice, Sealy, Aljacks DES Ltd, Unwin Jones, Ribble Farm Fare, Heatons Office Solutions and Howdens Joinery.” – Kit Graves, Lake District Hotels Director
A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this project happen, we couldn’t have done it without your kind generosity and hard work.
Our new Charity of the Year
For our new Charity of the Year, we have selected Keswick Scouts as we will raise money for the complete refurbishment of Ashness Hut.