Frankie and Benny’s have successfully ran their Pizza and Pasta Challenge for a number of years. S2 pupils at Queen Margaret, Kyle, Belmont and Prestwick Academies are tasked to create a new pizza or pasta dish which will go live on the menu. Within their Home Economics classes pupils work in teams to come up with a new idea. The brief states they must select from the list of ingredients provided and are then also allowed one additional ingredient of their choice. The teams then have the opportunity to cook their dishes within Home Economics. They then create a PowerPoint presentation highlighting why they chose their selected ingredients, how they came up with the name and nutritional content. This is a great opportunity which develops a wide range of skills.
4 semi-finalists are then selected from each school and this year were invited to Kyle Academy to present their idea to the other schools and a panel of judges. The panel of 5 judges then had the hard decision of selecting 1 team from each school to go through to the final. This year the judges were looking for creativity and innovative ideas of which there were plenty.
This year the Frankie and Benny’s Pizza and Pasta Challenge South Ayrshire Final was held at the Ayr restaurant on Wednesday 16th March. The restaurant is closed to customers and the teams have the opportunity to make their dish. This is then cooked by the professional chefs within the restaurant and the teams are given feedback from staff. This allows any changes to be made before the teams prepare their final dish ready for judging.
The judges were very impressed with the dishes presented from all the finalists this year. These included ‘The Twist’, 2 pizza dough’s twisted with the filling inside, ‘Hoisin Fusion’, a pulled pork pizza topped with hoisin sauce, ‘Bollie Ollie’, a tasty pasta contained inside a bowl made of pizza dough and a ‘Spicy Surprise’, a pasta dish made with black pudding and chorizo. All pupils reported this was a wonderful opportunity and it had been an experience that they would not forget.
As always there can only be one winner and Queen Margaret pupils, Cameron Healy and Katie-Leigh Anderson were this year crowned winners with their creation ‘Spicy Surprise’. The winners will see their dish on the Frankie and Benny’s menu for a limited period of time which will be available for customers in the Ayr restaurant to try. Cameron and Katie-Leigh were also presented with a shield from Ayr restaurant manager, Iain Grant and were given a voucher each to bring their friends to Frankie and Benny’s to sample their dish.
Well done to all involved and a huge thank you to Frankie and Benny’s Ayr.