Culinary arts graduate Lurita returns to UCB with class of her own
It was a blast from the past for former Culinary Arts Management student Lurita Carr, whose first visit to UCB since graduating was also her very first school trip as a newly-qualified teacher.
Lurita, who teaches food technology at Walsall’s Barr Beacon School after earning her PGCE this summer, brought a group of year 10 pupils to UCB for one of the popular ‘Have a Go’ taster days.
The visit was the golden opportunity for the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition students to learn some key professional cooking skills with UCB’s experienced lecturers, giving them an edge in an upcoming assessment - preparing three dishes that will wow examiners in three hours.
Lurita said the trip was not mandatory, but she believed the taster day would be of huge benefit to her students. “Linking to the curriculum, the idea was to show them what it’s like to be a chef in a professional kitchen, learning skills such as dovetailing, paring and mise en place,” she said.
“I had raved about the facilities, saying I wouldn’t have left my friends and family to go anywhere that wasn’t great and they were really excited, but it was more than they were expecting. I think they thought it would be classrooms, not a working bar, restaurants and professional kitchens.”
She said that within an hour of being at the taster day, the students had really come alive.
“Even the quieter kids were engaging and interacting, not just developing skills, but growing as people. First and foremost, cooking is about feeding yourself, knowing how to fillet a chicken you’ve bought for £4 at the supermarket rather than spending £10 on a take-away, but if you can inspire them to work in the industry, even better. It’s about nurturing home grown talent.”
Completing a “fantastic” placement through UCB at the prestigious RAC private members’ club in Pall Mall, London, the 26-year-old graduated from UCB with a BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts Management in 2014, going on to do a PGCE in Design and Technology for secondary education.
Now responsible for key stage 3 and GCSE cookery students at the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ Barr Beacon School, Lurita said coming back to UCB and seeing her former lecturers teaching her own class was incredible.
“I was really nervous as it was my very first school trip as a teacher, as well as my first trip back to UCB, but it was amazing,” she said.
“What I would say to anyone considering a career in the foodservice industry is that, yes, the hours can be crazy, but if you love it as I do, it is absolutely fantastic and UCB is the place to train. I learnt so much, had the mind-blowing opportunity to work in the best kitchens and developed a love for food that will never die because of this place. It was the best four years of my life.”
Find out more about courses at UCB’s College of Food.