A SCHOOL played host to a real-life celebrity cook who cut the ribbon to open its new food technology department.
Sunderland’s very own Stacie Stewart, of MasterChef fame, paid a visit to Thornhill School.
Members of the Thornholme Road school’s choir performed for guest-of-honour Stacie, who also took part in a question and answer session with pupils.
She then opened the new facility, which can cater for 48 students simultaneously across two rooms.
Stacie, 32, a self-taught cook from Roker, who also runs her own bakery and has recently penned cookbook Stacie Bakes, urged the pupils to follow their dreams.
She told the audience, which included Sunderland mayor Bob Heron and his mayoress Juliana, that she hoped “many happy cakes” would be baked at the school.
Speaking to the Echo she said: “It’s a really positive thing this new facility is being built for kids with a passion for cooking, to encourage their enthusiasm.”
The school’s head of technology Jeanette Proud said the food facility had been “purpose-built and purpose-designed” for the students.
Ms Proud said the school could now offer BTec courses in hospitality and catering as well as GCSEs in food technology, now it complies with new food hygiene regulations.
“We hope it will make them motivated to work hard and do well in their exams,” she added.