By Lauren, Year 9.

Last week, Emily Watkins, previous winner of The Great British Menu, gave a presentation to the Year 9 Food Science and Nutrition students with the aim of showing the career opportunities available for pupils taking GCSE Food Science.

Emily is proud co-owner with her husband of the Kingham Plough in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Emily has featured in television programmes such as The Hairy Bikers, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food and in local, national and international press. In 2014, Emily competed in the Great British Menu and won with her fish dish. She then went on to become a judge.

Emily became a chef because of her passion for food. She started her career doing work experience at Ristorante Beccofino in Florence. As well as learning how to prepare food to perfection, discovering respect for ingredients and their provenance, Emily also learnt to speak fluent Italian.

In 2002 Emily worked at The Fat Duck in Bray with Heston Blumenthal, before moving to London to work as a private chef. In 2007, she opened the Kingham Plough.

In her presentation Emily told us about how she started her career as a chef and how her love of cooking began. She then demonstrated recipes using the most amazing fresh eggs with naturally orange yolks. These included asparagus with hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise and delicious soufflés as shown in the picture.

I learnt a lot about what goes on in kitchens at restaurants. I also learnt the realities of being a chef and how Emily has so much passion towards cooking and preparing food. It is a tiring job, as chefs are up very early and don’t finish until late. However, there are lots of good reasons for being a chef as well, such as creativity, satisfaction and working in a team.

I thought Emily’s visit was interesting and informative. I enjoyed tasting the recipes she made, especially the soufflé.