A CATERING student will take audience participation to new heights when she swaps her seat for the stage at a premier food festival.
Last year Sue Brown was among crowds of visitors at the Leyburn event – but she was so inspired by the patisserie demonstration of Darlington College tutor Donna Joyce that she signed up for a catering course.
Twelve months on she is honing her skills on the Level 3 City and Guilds Patisserie and Confectionery course and will be helping Donna demonstrate the craft at this year’s show.
“We took shelter from the cold last year in the food theatre and Donna was so inspiring I decided I would like to give it a go,” said Sue, originally of Guisborough, who now lives in Richmond.
“I’d always enjoyed baking but had a fairly narrow repertoire. I’d just finished a contract with the NHS in Middlesbrough and Newcastle and fancied doing something different, something for me. The course has been fantastic and I have learnt so much, particularly about artisan bread making.”
Donna said: “Sue is passionate about baking and a pleasure to be in the kitchen with. I was looking for help with the demonstrations and she was only too pleased to volunteer.”
Now aiming to live the good life, Sue keeps free-range hens for eggs and grows her own fruit and vegetables.
“When I was at the NHS, all suited and booted, people called me Margot from the Good Life, because as soon as I was home I changed into my fleece and wellies and was in the garden,” she said.
“I would love to be part of something that is from the ground to the table, something that involves all the generations, where I can help young people realise how easy and rewarding it is growing your own and turning it into something delicious.”
She has a willing band of samplers in the neighbours who offer expert critiques of her pies, pastries and bread.
“But there is one neighbour I have to keep a close eye on,” she said. “Rambo, the cockerel, is always trying it on with my hens and I have to make sure he keeps away from the ladies.”
Leyburn Food Festival takes place this weekend and Sue and fellow student Tracy Burns will help Donna stage patisserie and confectionery demonstrations at 11.45am on Sunday.
For more information on our Hospitality and Catering courses, including the Level 3 Patisserie and confectionery course, visit the subject area Hospitality and Catering