After many months of planning and fundraising, the BSSC Kitchen Challenge became a reality on Tuesday, with celebrity chef Rob Rees and public health promotion expert, Hazel Fetherston, joining 11 students for the first session of an eight-week challenge in the Ulumbarra kitchen.

Year 11 and 12 students in VET, VCAL, and NETschool have taken up what Hazel describes as “a leadership program using cooking as a vehicle.”

“Students were given recipes then left to their own devices,” she said. “Week one is all about communication and teamwork.”

Hazel is a passionate health promotion practitioner involved in public health nutrition and delivering food literacy and cooking programs and won the Australian Health Promotion Association scholarship in 2015.

Rob Rees, well-known in the UK as ’the Cotswold Chef’, praised the students for the way they rose to their first challenge, but promised to up the ante in the weeks ahead.

Rob, who is on a mission to ensure “equity and access to wholesome food for all” came to Australia in 2015 with high aims.

“Working in collaboration with others, we are excited as a team to help transform the health, well-being and productivity of a nation,” he said.

Students will learn from a range of guest chefs and food experts over the coming weeks, culminating with a three-course dinner for 60 invited guests in the Ulumbarra Café on Wednesday 29 March.