Ministry role on the menu for fab cook Sara

Sara Jenson-Boon with Roots & Shoots Academy students Deniz Gibb (8) and Ben Luke (10) from Beaconhill Community School, Cramlington, Northumberland 'Photograph by Margaret Whittaker.

Sara Jenson-Boon with Roots & Shoots Academy students Deniz Gibb (8) and Ben Luke (10) from Beaconhill Community School, Cramlington, Northumberland 'Photograph by Margaret Whittaker.

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A Longframlington woman has proved she can stand the heat in the kitchen, after coming through a culinary battle to become the project manager of a unique partnership.

Sara Jenson-Boon will head up Jamie’s Ministry of Food at The Alnwick Garden, which is set to launch at the end of July.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s ground-breaking programme aims to provide a community-focused initiative that teaches basic cooking skills to non-cooks, as well as promoting learning about food in an inspiring and fun environment.

Demonstrating the benefits of using good local seasonal produce with themed cookery classes throughout the year will also be on the menu.

And Sara, 46, is relishing the role.

She said: “Jamie’s Ministry of Food at The Alnwick Garden is a fantastic project to be involved with; it’s exciting, challenging and a great opportunity to make a difference to a variety of people, encouraging them to put processed foods in the bin and cook from scratch with good fresh produce.

“Cooking is a life skill and by offering a variety of courses for all ages and abilities our aim is to reach all areas of the community in Alnwick and beyond.

“Everyone can cook; however some people need a little more encouragement than others, Jamie’s Ministry of Food at The Alnwick Garden will provide the encouragement, the opportunity to learn new skills as well as the possibility to make new friends.”

Since her appointment, Sara has been working to ensure the development of the project is steaming ahead in advance of its opening next month.

From appointing her two food trainers as part of her team, to visiting other Ministry of Food projects around the country, Sara is taking every measure to ensure the scheme will be a recipe for success.

She added: “In more recent weeks I have started to look at the overall design of the teaching kitchen.

“We want it to be fun, bright and inviting, and to date this has been the biggest challenge, but with the fantastic support from everyone at The Garden and the kitchen design team, it is really starting to take shape.

“That’s all I’m prepared to say at this point, to find out how the finished kitchen looks you will need to book onto one of our courses.”

The Duchess of Northumberland said that there were plans to run ‘a huge variety of cooking courses’ for all sorts of people.

She added: “We aim to make cooking fun, easy and tasty using freshly-picked ingredients from the garden so that everyone will leave wanting to continue what they have learnt with The Ministry of Food in The Alnwick Garden in their own homes and so develop healthier lifestyles and a sense of well-being.”

Details on how to take part in the Ministry of Food will be available on The Garden’s website from July.