23 Feb 2018
Come Dine With Us
COME DINE WITH US – GEMS Nairobi Edition
An afternoon spent at the GEMS Nairobi campus kitchen reminds me of one of my favorite BBC TV Shows. I always wonder what point in the contestant’s life they perfected their meringue making skills while I’m still struggling with the consistency of my ugali. On this day, it occurred to me that, they could’ve attended a school like GEMS.
Meet the Year 12 BTEC hospitality class. They are preparing different dishes during this particular lesson; As their teacher tells me Ms. Anne tells me, the ‘chefs’ in this class have different specialties; traditional African dishes, bread and pastries, desserts and special
So my question to them as they prepare their meals is; Are you the next Jamie Oliver or Julia Child? Surprisingly, the answer from most is no. That is with the exception of David who will be going to Switzerland for a summer culinary arts programme. He also occasionally hosts dinner parties where he prepares five meal courses for his guests. Watch video here https://youtu.be/n_2nEYbermw
They are planning for careers in business, fashion & design, Tech etc. Fiona tells me, she simply wanted to learn how to cook and a few weeks into the term, she can prepare a couple of simple dishes. Berthe has been cooking for her family for years now, but Danielle, she is very strategic. She plans to study business at a university abroad and wouldn’t want to be stuck with bad food during that time. Currently, she delights in her mother’s cooking but she is smart enough to realize that in a year or two she’ll be on her own.
But the one who’s skilled stands out the most (though ironically, the quiet one of the group) is Vanessa. She is concentrating on her dishes. There are pizza, garlic bread, and a pasta dish. What was she going for? She tells me, she just thought of the different dishes that are ready in under an hour. Vanessa loves to cook and it comes naturally to her. You see some of the students asking for her opinion on how to better their dishes and she stays after she’s done with hers to assist David with his carrot cake. If you can’t tell from the pictures, her food is delicious and that pizza gives every joint in Nairobi a run for their money. Though she knows her way around the kitchen, she is set on pursuing a career in fashion and design.
As a product of the soon to be defunct 8-4-4 education system, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if I had the opportunity to experience the practical aspects of the British Curriculum and BTEC (a practical approach to learning that is equivalent to A levels by the Business and Technology Education Council) in particular.
What is the British Curriculum all about and why is it regarded so highly globally?
Look out for an article here that summarizes the workings of the British Curriculum.