The Grub Club helps set students up for life

Published: 12 February 2010 at 10:21

The Grub Club helps set students up for life

Chef’s hats and wooden spoons were the order of the day at an Anglia Ruskin University event organised in partnership with Writtle College, Chelmsford Borough Council and NHS Central Essex Community Services. 

The ‘live’ cooking ‘master class’ was attended by around 70 students from Anglia Ruskin University and Writtle College who were keen  to learn some tips on how to create healthy and balanced dishes  on a budget. ‘Market Kitchen’s’ celebrity chef winner Ben Ebbrell, and the SORTED team were helping to spread their knowledge on surviving at university. Part of the SORTED campaign to challenge the student diet covers ‘Brain Booster’ dishes for use around exam time, ‘Meals to Impress’ to cook for someone special, and ‘Nights Out’ recipes to line the stomach before a drinking night out.

The practical ‘interactive’ demonstrations started with simple ideas and concepts developing to a finale of how to cook three simple yet tasty courses from scratch in half an hour.  Students were asked to volunteer during the sessions to demonstrate their skills and were treated to a sausage and mash supper while they watched variations on meat and two vegetables being prepared including pork chop with apple and sage mash and broccoli, and gammon steak with a tarragon mash and sautéed mushrooms.

During the event, first-hand tips and tricks were revealed relating to every food aspect of independent living including shopping budgeting, planning, controlling, storing, cooking and maximising the use of leftovers. 

Talking about why the initiative is so important for students particularly, Deborah Barker from Anglia Ruskin University said: 

“We are very keen to help our students to prepare some nutritious, home-cooked food for themselves not only to help them through university but to help set them up for eating for life – as nothing is more important to overall health.”

“The Grub Club event was a natural progression for us as we already implement a Cheap As Chips educational food campaign which is designed to help students develop a healthy attitude towards cooking and eating.”

Chelmsford Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Councillor Ian Grundy,  was delighted that his team’s bid to the Food Standards Agency secured funding for the activity, saying:

"Students and other young people living away from home for the first time have difficult decisions to make about how to spend a limited income. We are pleased to be part of this initiative to give students the know-how and confidence to cook and prepare wholesome food. This is essential to support a move away from a reliance on fast foods and microwave meals which are often expensive and high in harmful fats, salt and sugars."