Ansford Academy chef only 16 but teen's ready to cook for 60
A BUDDING chef at Ansford Academy is preparing to feel the heat as part of an ambitious fundraiser.
Freddie Rothwell, 16, will cook a three-course meal for up to 60 hungry diners on Saturday evening.
The food technology student will lead a team of four friends in catering for a variety of parents, teachers and pupils at the school.
It is hoped that 'An Evening with Freddie Rothwell' will raise more than £1,000 for the school's annual student exchange with Mufulira High School, in Zambia.
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The teenager – who will travel to Zambia as part of the exchange next month - admitted the prospect of cooking for ten tables of parents and teachers was daunting.
He said: "It has taken a lot of organisation, from sorting out the cutlery to the waitresses who will serve.
"I am a bit nervous – there will be a lot of pressure on us. We are an inexperienced team and have never worked together.
"However, I am confident it will go well."
The budding chef, who recently completed work experience at Rick Stein's St Petroc's Bistro, in Cornwall, has produced a nine-dish menu for the weekend's guests.
Among the tasty treats on offer is lamb tagine, traditional fish pie and goat's cheese tart.
Desserts include chocolate mousse, ice cream and a selection of Somerset's premium cheeses.
The youngster hopes the Zambian exchange will be provide an invaluable experience – showing the array of different foods used in other cultures.
"I have been passionate about cooking since the age of eight or nine", Mr Rothwell said.
"I used to cook with my mum and have always been relatively good at it.
"Travelling is something I've always wanted to do, so to be able to have the opportunity to travel to Zambia is great.
"Everyone at the school has been incredibly supportive.
"People have given up their own time to offer to waitress or put on the entertainment, and I am really grateful."
The Somerset school fundraises throughout the year to pay for staff and students to go there, as well as funding the return trip for the Zambians.
While in Zambia, pupils visit local primary schools, hospitals and copper mines.
The link between the two schools was founded by the late David Metherell, a former teacher at the school, in 1995.