Frontline menu for Ellon Academy pupils

ELLON Academy home economics pupils were treated to a visit by the Royal Marines on Monday led by Commando chef Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton who, together with his team, showed the children a no-nonsense way of preparing a simple, nutritious curry.

The children prepped the food themselves, having been shown a fast and foolproof way to slice and dice and subsequently cooked the ingredients much in the same way as the Commando’s would on the front line in Afghanistan.

Mike, who travels all over the UK spreading the ‘fit for life’ message, said: “The aim of these visits is to inform students of the importance and benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, and who better to do this than Royal Marines who need to adopt this approach if they are to succeed in their careers.

“Many of my colleagues are on the ground in Afghanistan and the young people will be able to get some experience of what mealtimes are typically like for them.”

Second year pupil Jack Sim said he found the experience beneficial and added: It’s different from what we normally do. We’ve never done anything like this before – we prepped everything and then cooked it all from scratch.”

Another second year pupil, Nicole Leask said it had been fun and commented: “I enjoyed making the dish and I learned that you could put a Bounty bar in the curry.

Marine Simon Jones said it was a case of “get it done, get it done quick” while being thorough and cleaning up as they go and using principals of good nutrition to fuel an active mind and active body.

Putting the Bounty bar in helps take the fear out of cooking for young people. There are a lot of complicated recipes out there but we go back to basics, then when it’s kept simple it’s easy for them.

The Bounty bar is a trigger or hook. The children will naturally remember the ingredients and how to cook it.”

At a debrief session after the clearing up was done, the children were keen to ask questions.

Asking whether there are women on the front line, the commandos said women were not allowed in hand to hand combat but there were women who were medics and there were signal women. He said the reason women don’t fight is because it is MOD policy but he did say there were two commando trained women who had earned their green berets.

Mike finished off by saying there was no bad food, just the amount of it you eat. He said: “You should be aware of of what you eat. Fresh food keeps energy going.