Students at City College hotel school at Norwich and goose producers are to work together in developing new recipes and in reviving an ancient Michaelmas tradition.
The students will be introduced to the world of geese when Eddie Hegarty, chairman of British Goose Producers, visits the college in June and then invites them back to Norfolk Geese at Pulham Market to learn more about the most traditional of Christmas birds.
The feast of Michaelmas — September 29 in most of the country but October 11 in Norfolk still following the medieval Julian calendar — has a number of customs associated with eating goose.
Michaelmas will be celebrated by a goose themed dinner at the City College’s Debut Restaurant, provisionally planned for Thursday October 4.
“The event will see Chris Busby, executive chef of Brasteds, working with students to produce this exciting dining experience as part of the Norfolk Food Festival celebrations in the early autumn,” said Steven Thorpe, head of the City College hotel school.
During the autumn term the students will be working on goose menus as part of their syllabus, culminating in a competition for the best recipe.
Mr Hegarty said goose producers were delighted to have the opportunity to work with the college in developing new ideas for cooking and serving goose.
“While goose is one of the most traditional British meats, it’s always good to find new ways of serving the dish,” he said. “Just as more families are now choosing a goose for Christmas, so restaurants are seeing the potential of goose for Michaelmas and autumn menus — and if we can help provide them with some new ideas, we’ll all be gaining.”
- British Goose Producers, which is part of the British Poultry Council, was formed 30 years ago through the inspiration of its founder chairman John Adlard of Norfolk Geese.
- The highly regarded hotel school at City College has over 300 students training to be chefs and is rated among the top catering schools in the country. With more than 300 UK colleges offering catering courses, City College Norwich was one the first eight to earn National Skills Academy status for Catering and Hospitality.
- The traditional home of the British goose industry, Norfolk is where geese were reared for centuries on light Breck soil and then driven on foot to festive markets in London.