TEACHERS have been cooking up a storm thanks to some helpful tips from a top chef.
Staff were given a head-start on Christmas after enjoying lessons in cooking some festive favourites.
An annual Ready Steady Cook contest at Bede Academy, in Blyth, took a Yuletide theme as top chef Terry Laybourne led staff through a culinary menu with a twist.
The Café 21 proprietor demonstrated how to prepare a stuffed chicken complete with pepped-up versions of classics such as sprouts, swede and potatoes.
A packed audience of students, parents and staff then watched Bede principal Gwyneth Evans, teamed up with teacher John Raine, pit their skills against Bede Primary headteacher Irene Watson and teacher James Leverton.
The two teams were marked on their chefs’ skills in preparing, cooking and presenting the festive main course, which was followed by cherry and cream gateau.
Newcastle and Durham restaurateur Mr Laybourne said: “Many people aren’t too keen on the likes of sprouts and swede but it is quite simple to make them so much more appealing.”
The audience voted for their favourite teams with Miss Evans winning the chicken preparation heat but losing out in the carving, presentation and gateau stages.
Mr Leverton said: “I think after beating the principal it might be a good idea to keep a low profile.”
But Miss Evans added: “I love cooking and have picked up some great ideas.
“I think Mr Leverton must have received the sympathy vote. It has been great fun and all staged in the right festive spirit.
“Christmas is a time when we all indulge perhaps a little too much but this event has shown that our festive feasts can be healthy and nutritious as well.”