A SCHOOL cook from the Vale put her culinary skills to the test in the kitchen of Michelin star chef James Sommerin.

Ann Morgan, chef manager at St. Cyres school, spent a day at the Penarth restaurant as part of the Lead Association in Catering in Education (LACA)’s ‘Host a School Chef’ project.

Ms Morgan, who is head cook at St Cyres school, was selected by the Vale council to take part in the scheme.

Colleagues had praised her outstanding work ethic, talent and team spirit, and felt she would thrive in the experience.

Ms Morgan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience at the James Sommerin restaurant.

“I learnt a lot about seasonal produce and thinking outside the box when it comes to meals.

“Seeing the team at work reinforced in my mind the great work we’re doing at St Cyres.

“We’re a strong and efficient team, and I feel I am a good manager.

“It made me appreciate the job I’m doing now, and I realise I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Ms Morgan was welcomed by Mr Sommerin and his daughter Georgia to help prepare food for service in the multi award-winning restaurant, on Penarth Esplanade.

She spent a day on-site, gaining knowledge on flavour combinations, and making the most of what the seasons have to offer, as well as having the opportunity to observe and ask questions.

Ms Morgan hopes to transfer these new-found skills to the school environment, catering for balanced and nutritious meals for 11 to 18-year olds.

Initially part of LACA’s National School Meals Week events, the Host a School Chef project became so popular with school caterers and restaurateurs that it is now promoted as a stand-alone, year-round event.

The project allows school chefs the opportunity to gain experience in some of the country’s most exclusive restaurant kitchens.

Prior restaurants hosting school chefs include The Ritz Hotel in London, Purnell’s in Birmingham and The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny.