Show me the dough

Pupils from a Blackburn high school had a ‘fantastico’ time making pizzas with help from a respected industry chef.

The 12, Year 9, food technology students from Witton Park Academy found out how much effort goes into making the perfect pizza at popular gastropub, the Oyster & Otter; part of the Seafood Pub Company.

Working under the guidance of head of kitchen operations, Mark Taft, the pupils made their own dough, learned how to roll the pizza by hand and choose their own favourite topping, based on their five a day.

Happy with their efforts, the pizzas were baked in the Oyster & Otter’s new pizza oven for just over 3 minutes, before being served to the hungry group of fledgling chefs.

Mark, who looks after kitchen operations across the Seafood Pub Company’s 11 sites, said to the pupils: “Being a chef means working long hours but the rewards are worth it when you work in amazing places and with some fantastic food.”

He went on to demonstrate how to make the dough, before talking the pupils through each step of the pizza making process.

“I really enjoyed the experience myself, it’s great to see such a passion for cooking from a young audience and let’s hope we see some of them come through the ranks to work with us here at the Seafood Pub Company.

“I had my eye on one of them for a future pizza chef here, she was so good and helped others who were struggling. It was great to see,” he added.

Food technology teacher, Mrs Christine O’Boyle, accompanied the group and was also impressed by their efforts.

She said: “The pupils were a true credit to the school, listening to Mark’s step-by-step guidance and producing some amazing looking – and smelling – pizzas.”

“Having real life experiences like this really helps them to understand what life as a chef may be like and we cannot thank Mark and the Oyster & Otter enough for inviting us here. I, for one, will be back for a pizza myself!”

The pupils wasted no time tucking into their pizzas following the exercise and the empty plates were testament to their success.