Sunderland school cook studies under top chef

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A SCHOOL cook from Sunderland took time out of her day job to step into a top chef’s shoes.

Gail Wyatt, 43, a cook from East Herrington Primary Academy, spent the day in the kitchen of Kenny Atkinson’s House of Tides restaurant in Newcastle.

The experience was part of National School Meals Week, now in its 21st year, and Gail, who has completed an NVQ diploma in food production and cooking, worked with Michelin-starred chef Kenny, head chef Danny Parker and the rest of the kitchen staff.

Her duties during the day included preparation of food and service during the evening.

National School Meals Week aims to highlight how far school food has come since the days of lumpy mash and custard.

It comes just months after the launch of free school meals for 2.8million primary school children, and the introduction of cooking on the curriculum.

Hundreds of schools across the country are taking part in the celebrations, which mark the biggest healthy eating awareness week aimed at children in England and Wales.

With one in five children leaving primary school overweight and obese, health chiefs say ensuring a healthy, nutritionally balanced school lunch has never been so important.