Janette Cullen, Art & DT Subject Lead at Cottesmore St Mary’s Primary School let's us in on Year 3 children's alternative, and delicious sounding, DT, Heritage and Healthy Eating learning by cooking up a mini (and healthy!) banquet inspired by Brighton's own Prince Regent...
Year 3 children at Cottesmore St Mary’s Primary School, Hove had been learning about Brighton and Hove’s history and had visited the Royal Pavilion and gone on a Local History walk led by Martha Gunn. During their tour of the Royal Pavilion, they saw the menu of the meal that was cooked by the French Chef Antoine Careme, for the Grand Duke of Russia’s visit in 1817. This really captured the children’s imagination: a meal of over 100 dishes that took over 5 hours to eat; a model of the Royal Pavilion in pastry, a terrine of larks, a head of a sturgeon in champagne, a marzipan mosque that stood at over a metre tall…..!
No wonder the Prince Regent was so fat! His love of food and partying caused his weight to reach 127 kg and his waistline grew to 127 cm. On return to school the children got set to plan a Banquet for their parents and carers… but making it healthy. Our budget didn’t quite match that of the Regents Banquet so we decided on canapés. The success criteria were that each canapé should contain the main food groups in healthy proportions: carbs for the base, protein and fat for the middle and fruit or vegetables for the toppings. They should look beautiful and fit to be served at a banquet. After taste testing and evaluating a range of bread and crackers in terms of texture, strength and taste we were ready to design our dishes. The shopping lists made lovely reading, but expectations were managed and we adapted designs to our budget.
After donning chefs hats (first introduced by Careme), the children learnt how to peel, slice and chop. Bases were star and moon shaped, plaited, piled high. Chives were chopped, radishes spiralled. Things were tasted for the first time and soon the serving plates were full.
Later that day, parents and carers were invited to a Georgian Banquet where they were served the canapes and listened to some Georgian music.
One student, Libby said, “It was really good fun and I liked being dressed up. I learnt that food can be mixed up in different and delicious ways. The best bit was eating my circle shaped, cream cheese, star cucumber and olive smiles canape with my Dad, who said it was delicious”.