Young people cooking up a storm at Loxley House

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Hungry Nottingham City Council workers will be served by the chefs of the future when young people take over Loxley House restaurant on Thursday 9 November.

Members of the city’s Children in Care Council will plan, prepare and cook the lunchtime menu for staff at the City Council’s Station Street headquarters. It’s all part of Takeover Challenge Week 2017, when young people get the chance to take charge.

The dishes on offer reflect the favourite tastes of the young people – the menu has been inspired by a famous restaurant chain and features peri-peri chicken, corn on the cob and sweet potato fries, street food-style gourmet burgers and chocolate fondant pudding.

Young head chef for the day Larelle Flowers, 19, who studied Hospitality at Nottingham College said: “This is the food that we love to cook and eat; hopefully the staff at Loxley House will feel the same!”

Next year Larelle will be visiting Tanzania as a volunteer with Operation Raleigh, so he’s bringing a taste of Africa to the table with a Tanzanian chicken curry, a delicious and low fat choice for the health conscious.

Alongside him in the kitchen will be other members of the Children in Care Council who are also training for careers in catering, working alongside regular restaurant staff.

Running the Loxley House restaurant is just one of the activities taking place to mark Takeover Challenge Week 2017 promoted by the Children’s Commissioner for England and supported locally by the Nottingham City Children’s Partnership Board. It’s the second year running the Council has taken part in the scheme, which promotes participation of children and young people in decision-making in both public and private sector organisations

Throughout Takeover Challenge Week, local Councillors will be taking part in buddying activities as young people accompany them on ward walks and youth groups invite Councillors to special discussion evenings, while another group will work with the Council’s Communications team to develop a new blog for children in care and care leavers.

Meanwhile the One Nottingham strategic partnership welcomes its new youth representative onto its board on Friday 10 November. Adil Malik, 17, is a sixth form student at Bluecoat Academy and a member of the Council’s Youth Cabinet group.

Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, Councillor David Mellen said: “Takeover Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get to know how the Council works, take part in decision making and have a chance to show what they can do when they’re in charge. The Children’s Partnership actively supports participation as we know how important it is to improving children and young people’s lives.”

Fellow Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills, Councillor Sam Webster said: “I’m looking forward to tasting what chef Larelle and his young team cook up in the Loxley kitchen – our young people really know what they’re doing so I’m sure it will go down well with the staff here!”

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