Inverness College UHI professional cookery students support Food for Families project

PROFESSIONAL Cookery students at Inverness College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, have been doing their bit this Christmas by cooking meals for families in need over the festive period.

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Professional Cookery studebts Amelia Zamorska and Masoud Kabiri.

Inverness College UHI is supporting Gateway’s Food for Families project for the second year in a row.

The students are part of a larger group of more than 50 volunteers who are helping to prepare more than 3500 cooked, frozen meals to families living in severe hardship in the Highlands.

Students studying Professional Cookery will be making 240 portions of macaroni cheese, mince and tatties, and chicken curry and wedges over three days in December to support the charity.

The meals will be cooked at Inverness College UHI by students before being collected, frozen by Gateway and distributed to those in need.

Nicola Macdonald, head of hospitality at Inverness College UHI, said: “We supported this project last year and the feedback we received from Gateway and the families who benefited was humbling, so we were delighted to help this charity again. Our students cook high quality cuisine for paying customers in our Sheiling Restaurant every week, but cooking in large batches is a different skillset so it’s also a learning experience for them. We are delighted to be able help such a worthwhile cause at this time of year, and I know the students themselves have really enjoyed the experience.”

Alex Gilchrist, general manager of Gateway, added: “The Food for Families project has cooked and shared out almost 20,000 meals during the past 7 years. Once again this year we are ready to step in to action with a terrific network of volunteers who have responded to turn an idea of helping those who need a meal, into a highly successful project.”

Now in its 8th year the Food for Families project is sponsored by local businessman David Sutherland, local businesswoman Cat Campbell (The Mustard Seed and The Kitchen) and Gateway. It is supported by a number of volunteers including members of Crown Church, Culduthel Christian Centre, Old High St Stephens Church, Calman Trust and Inverness Prison. Together these teams of chefs aim to provide in excess of a further 3500 meals this year.

The students taking part in the project are Josh Anderson, Ken Pascua, Rebekah Parker, Ryan Grubb, Summer Findlay, William Barker, Amelia Zamorska, Jordan Ross, Masoud Kabiri, Murray McCamon, Robin Evans, Ross Alexander and Struan Brown, led by Professional Cookery lecturer Richard Denis.

Inverness College UHI is raising money for various charities in December including Mikey’s Line, Befrienders Highland and Raise for Reece, the 5-year-old son of Inverness College UHI classroom assistant Donna Mitchell, who has been diagnosed with Batten disease.