Crowne Plaza, Harrogate adopts Willow Tree Primary School

13 November 2018

Year 4 pupils at Willow Tree Primary School have been lucky enough to have been chosen by the Crowne Plaza, Harrogate to take part in the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Adopt a School Scheme. With a different session running every term, the initiative aims to inspire children to learn more about food culture, cookery and hospitality.

The session was run by Becki Maud, Human Resources Manager and David Bailey, Food and Beverage Manager who came into the school to deliver the training.


Becki explains why Crowne Plaza were keen to get involved:

Supporting Adopt a School was fuelled by the idea of ‘capturing them young’ to the possibility of working in the hospitality industry. The reality is, the year 4 class are just 8 years away from potentially joining the workforce and to be introduced in this creative way, I feel it planted a brilliant seed. The children were all curious asking thoughtful questions and were exceptionally grateful that we had come to be part of their day.


The children were encouraged to really get into the part and were given aprons and chef hats to write their names on. David and Becky talked about the 5 different senses and the 5 different tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). Each child was given a box that contained an item of food that would represent each taste. They tried bread, lemon, honey, tomato and samphire.

While the children were tasting the food they were asked to write down where they could taste the different tastes on their tongue. Finally, the session ended with a game of “Guess the food”. Some children were blindfolded, brought to the front and given an item of food. They had to use their five senses to guess what the food was.


Year 4 teacher, Helen Winter said:

The children were really engaged throughout the session. It was great to see my class become excited about trying different foods.



The children clearly loved the session with pupil Hannah commenting:

It was quite amazing! I learnt quite a lot of new things about food!


Lois was equally as impressed:

I thought it was brilliant! We got to try new foods that I didn’t think I’d like and even the lemon was okay! I liked that we were able to take our hats home.

It was a really good treat. I would like to say thank you to the Crowne Plaza for choosing to come to Willow Tree.


Food and Beverage Manager, David Bailey says:

It was great to see the kids getting involved – they were so keen to try the different flavours, and learn about the different parts of the tongue!  I was really impressed by the knowledge that some of the children had already.


With two further sessions to follow the scheme is a great example of how the Crowne Plaza are seeking to pioneer the importance of educating children from an early age with the session proving a hit with both children and adults alike.



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