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Redbridge College trainee nominated for award says cooking ‘gets his heart racing’

PUBLISHED: 15:01 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:01 15 April 2016

Young citizens Award Redbridge College, Lee-James Hickey. Photo: Paul Bennett

Young citizens Award Redbridge College, Lee-James Hickey. Photo: Paul Bennett

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Move out of the way Jamie Oliver – there’s a new chef in town promoting healthy eating in the form of this week’s Redbridge/Rotary Club Young Citizen Award nominee.

Young citizens Award Redbridge College, trainee chef Lee-James Hickey. Photo: Paul BennettYoung citizens Award Redbridge College, trainee chef Lee-James Hickey. Photo: Paul Bennett

Trainee chef Lee-James Hickey, 23, has been proving himself both in and out of the kitchen as a role model to other students while studying for his level 3 professional cookery programme.

Mr Hickey, who attends Redbridge College, Chadwell Heath Lane, was the team leader behind a pilot scheme that aimed to show children under five the benefits of eating healthy.

He said: “We prepped and demonstrated healthy meals with the kids and their parents, which included breakfast, lunch and dinner and we tried to use ingredients low in sugar and salt.

“The course lasted six weeks and at the end of it we gave them recipe books containing the meals and it was such a success that they are thinking of carrying it on through at least three different areas of London, and it could go nationwide.”

Mr Hickey, of Corringham, has also led a team creating an interactive signature dish recipe book which includes little videos of chefs creating meals, judged two school competitions offering feedback afterwards and mentored a level 2 cookery student.

“It’s great to help them develop,” he said.

The Redbridge College student does have a history degree but he decided to pursue his passion for cooking, rather than end up with an office job.

He said: “It was while working at the Golden Hind Ship that I realised I quite liked doing manual labour, and for me, cooking moulds together both the physical and the intellectual.

“It just gets my heart racing and it’s great when a good meal comes together.”


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