MasterChef Masterclass!

Posted at 10:27 am on 23rd November, 2021

Flixton Girls School staff go above and beyond to broaden their students learning experiences by providing access to masters of the culinary world. Mrs Atkinson has empowered her year 10 GCSE Food and Nutrition students by inviting MasterChef the Professionals and Bake Off the Professionals Chef Exose to share his culinary knowledge and skills.

Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga, has achieved a lot in his short career, having studied locally at Trafford College and Manchester Academy; then moving through the ranks and working as a chef de partie – pastry, at James Martin Manchester. From here he was a finalist on MasterChef the Professionals in 2019 being judged by Monica Galetti, Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace.

Exose produces some of the finest food in the city as part of the team which manages three city centre restaurants Boulevard (BLVD), Impossible and Gorilla, Exose also runs his own cake business, Granted Cakes, which he set up when he was just 17. Plus, during the restrictions has devised his new catering service, Exose at Home, offering a weekly changing menu of freshly prepared starters, mains and desserts delivered to your door.  

This entrepreneurial spirit stood Chorlton-based Exose in good stead and one thing he really loves is giving back and share his knowledge with those just starting their culinary journey. Therefore, when asked to share his experiences and demonstrate some sweet treats with our students, he jumped at the chance and wowed both students and staff with an apple tartan and clotted cream ice-cream.

FGS Students were excited and inquisitive, asking loads of questions from how Exose got into catering right through to what his favourite dishes were. He explained how cooking, as part of his BTEC Catering and Hospitality course and his teacher’s acknowledgements of his work, really set the scene for him to pursue a catering career. By the age of 17 he had created his own cake baking company @grantedcakes,  which stemmed from his training at Trafford College, as well as a lot of home practicing and watching You Tube video’s.

Students asked a variety of questions which included:

Q: ‘What was it like doing MasterChef?’

Exose said, ‘MasterChef was very challenging and I was both nervous and excited, however I was a lot younger than the majority of the contestants so I just approached each round as if it was my last and enjoyed every minute of it.’

Q: ‘What is your favourite food to eat?’

Exose said, ‘I really enjoy Italian, Mexican and Jamaican food and my go to favourite is curried goat and jerk chicken.’

Q: ‘What was the most exciting event you have cooked for?’

Exose said, ‘This was a 5 course fine dining for a private client which was prepared and served in the woods, over a fire – it was quite an experience!’

Mrs Atkinson, Food and Nutrition teacher said, ‘It has been a fantastic opportunity for year 10 to meet a professional Chef and to observe how a tarte tartin and vanilla ice cream are made. Meeting Chef Exose and watching him prepare and cook food with such passion and understanding of how ingredients work in a dish, has been very inspirational for our students. Some of the students who took the recipe home, have put their skills learnt into practice and prepared this mouth water dessert for their families, very well done everyone!’