Frome College: Teacher with a passion for food, glorious food
INTERVIEW with Sarah Petroff, subject leader for food technology.
Q. How does the Master Chef competition work?
A. It's organised and run by Frome Rotary Club, and this will be our fourth year running it in its current format. Students compete for a place in the final (this can be Year 10 or 11), and they do this by having to create, design and cook a two course healthy meal in a budget of £15. They cook it and I judge it based on creativity, innovation and flair and then they will go through to the final eight and they will get to cook for professional chefs on the day of the competition.
Q. How did it go last year?
A. Really, really well, there were some very high standards. We're sponsored by Appetito, who we work closely with and provided us with the judges for the day and the professional chefs, so we're very lucky. We are also sponsored by the owner of Scallop Shell, Gary Rosser, who is based in the Farm Shop at Beckington, was also one of the judges, and provided over £1,000 worth of prizes in terms of fish master classes and came to the school to do one. We had one more sponsor, Dairy Crest who provided all the money for the chefs' whites and they also provided money for the prizes and ingredients for the day as well. Appetito gave every student a recipe book and an apron so everybody came away with a good prize regardless of whether they won or not.
Q. What is your favourite meal?
A. That's really hard, as I love so much food. I suppose for dessert it would have to be a really good pavlova. And for main there is not much better than a lovely pan-fried fish with seasonal vegetables; that would probably be my absolute dream.
Q. What made you want to become a food teacher?
A. I loved cooking from a young age, and started at three. I cooked with my Grandma and my Mum, who were very patient with me at that age, as things weren't great on the plate at that stage. I also enjoyed working with my Dad during the shooting season as I used to go out shooting pheasants, and was taught how to prepare them. My grandparents were butchers, and owned their own shop, so cooking surrounded me. My other grandmother ran a pub, so I was very used to it (cooking), and developed a love for food. I also wanted to teach from a young age but I didn't know what, but as I got older and my cooking skills developed I knew that cooking was for me. My goal in teaching is to pass on my passion for cooking on to the children.
Q. What other subjects do you enjoy at school?
A. I love music and English. I did A-level literature. I liked going to the theatre so that linked in to the literature, and I do play the guitar, piano and a little bot of the drums.
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take?
A. I'd have to have some music, so an iPod. I would also need a decent kitchen knife to prepare my food. I suppose I could have a good size wok for cooking with, and if I were allowed, I would take James Martin.
Aaron Woodruff, Year 10