Fat Duck chef cooks up a stir in Merton

Merton schoolchildren and young carers will be learning how to whip up a Michelin-star meal from the experts when Fat Duck head chef, Ashley Palmer Watts, visits Cricket Green School on Tuesday 9 December.

Ashley is the head chef at Heston Blumenthal’s world famous restaurant in Bray, Berkshire. The celebrity hot spot has won a string of awards, including the Good Food Guide’s 10/10 Best Restaurant in the UK and Second Best Restaurant in The World by the Restaurant Magazine’s International Academy 50 Best Restaurants in the World Awards 2008. He also donated his prize money from an award to the young carers so they could have a day out at Laverstoke Park and came and cooked a barbeque with them.

The young carers will be picking up culinary tips at the school as part of the Cooking Teens project organised by children’s charity Jigsaw4u and Carers Support Merton. Pupils from Cricket Green are taking part in a separate scheme – Cook, Create and Communicate – also organised by Jigsaw4u, and independent play consultant Bec Yusuf. Both projects are funded by the school and Merton Youth Activities Fund.

Cricket Green headteacher, Celia Dawson said: “This is the second time Ashley has visited the school and the children are really looking forward to seeing him and trying out some of his exciting recipes. The Fat Duck restaurant is known for its innovative and unusual dishes such as cauliflower served with chocolate and mango presented with Douglas fir puree.”

Merton Council leader, Councillor David Williams said: “This is a fantastic chance for young carers and Cricket Green pupils to have fun whilst also learning something new.

“Young carers can face many stresses in their daily lives but cooking is a very creative skill and a good way of relaxing and putting any difficulties to one side. We are especially fortunate to have a chef of Ashley’s calibre visiting the school and I am sure all the children taking part will enjoy themselves.”