Top class kitchen opens for Inverness school pupils and community
Charleston Academy’s Albert Roux Kitchen was officially opened on Monday 2 February 2015. The kitchen has been installed in a refurbished part of the Home Economics department at Charleston Academy and will be used by Inverness schools and the community
Twelve Home Economics pupils, supervised by Mr Albert Roux, prepared and served canapés to invited guests including The Provost of Inverness, Councillor Alex Graham and local members, council officials and some of the schools’ partner organisations. The event was attended by representatives of the local hospitality industry who have supported this project over the past few years including: Harry Gow, Loch Ness Lodge Hotel, the Redcliffe Hotel, and Johnny Foxes among others.
Declaring the semi-industrial quality kitchen officially open, Mr Roux said:
“I am highly delighted that the dream of Charleston Academy, Elaine Bremner former, retired Principal Teacher of Home Economics and myself has now come to a marvellous fruition.
“This state of the art kitchen will serve as an inspiration not only to the students of Charleston Academy but will also be open to other students within the City and elsewhere. It will allow youngsters to come to a place of learning and embrace a professional kitchen.”
Funding for the £278,000 project was provided by The Highland Council’s Care and Learning Capital Programme (£193,000); Inverness Common Good Fund (£40,000) and Highland Council Inverness West, Inverness Central, and Aird and Loch Ness Wards Discretionary Budgets (£13,500); and through private donations to, and fundraising by Charleston Academy (£31,500). Education Scotland, through their Food for Thought programme were also early supporters of the project.
Provost of Inverness, Councillor Alex Graham welcomed the opening of the kitchen, he said: “We are extremely grateful for the time, energy and enthusiasm that Mr Roux has committed to the creation of this magnificent resource and for his support that he has given to Charleston Academy over many years.
“Local Members are delighted to support this project which will create a centre of excellence capable of attracting specialist events; be used by all secondary schools in the Inverness area; and be available to community groups and adult education classes out with school hours.”
Rector of Charleston Academy Chris O’Neill added: “The kitchen and specialist equipment provided by Electrolux is of an extremely high standard that is certain to inspire our young people to consider a career in hospitality.
“Our work with Mr Roux has been very beneficial for the educational and work experiences of our pupils. The new Albert Roux Kitchen will exemplify equal opportunities for pupils of all abilities. It will ensure that vocational hospitality courses are firmly embedded in our curriculum. It will also hopefully encourage more boys and girls to pursue careers in hospitality.
“Already three former Charleston Academy pupils have been offered apprenticeships with Mr Roux. Caitlin Granger is working in France and Rebecca Williams is at Le Gavroche in London. Gary Millard, torn between a football career or becoming a chef, was working for Mr Roux at Rocpool in Inverness and is now at Greywalls near Edinburgh, and will head to France next year to complete his training at some of the best restaurants in the world. We hope many youngsters will want to see the hospitality industry as an attractive and rewarding career and one which is of vital importance to the Highlands.
“Plans are also being developed to integrate the kitchen with our languages department for the promotion of Scottish Studies, Gaelic and French. In addition to Mr Roux’s generous support and unwavering commitment to the project I would like to also thank him for his latest donation of a supply of his own cookery books for use in the kitchen.”
Suzanne Hargreaves, Senior Education Officer for Health and Wellbeing at Education Scotland, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to provide support to this very interesting project at Charleston Academy, Inverness where the school has worked closely with world-renowned chef Albert Roux over the last five years to create a hospitality training facility within the school. The Food for Thought Funding combined with funding from Highland Council and the school’s own fundraising activities has allowed them to open The Albert Roux Training Kitchen. We wish them all the best and hope this project will encourage all schools to consider the great opportunities this funding could provide and the benefits it could bring to learners.”
Bookings for; or enquiries about the Albert Roux Kitchen can be made by contacting Charleston Community Campus on 01463 220128.