Ringwood School 'Marques' Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Published Friday 16 March 2012

Students from Ringwood School are hoping to ‘Cook for the Queen’ this summer and showcase delicious New Forest food.

The ‘Cook for the Queen’ competition, organised by Love British Food, is an opportunity for schools to prepare a special Diamond Jubilee menu for Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. Schools are asked to design a canapé menu that celebrates local produce from where they live. The winning menus will be served at a reception at Buckingham Palace attended by The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The New Forest Marque aims to help promote local produce and is the only audited scheme like it in the country, with nearly 130 members.

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘The New Forest is The Queen’s larder – as the Forestry Commission manages the Crown lands on her behalf. The New Forest has had a strong link with the monarchy since William the Conqueror declared it his royal hunting ground in 1079.

‘The Forest is famous for its venison, wild mushrooms and pannage pork*. We have great food on our doorstep that needs to be celebrated.

‘The school will also be working closely with the National Park Authority’s Education Team which will be teaching pupils about the history of New Forest food. This is an important part of the competition for students to understand where their food comes from.’

Gill Hickman, Sustainability Co-ordinator at Ringwood School, said: ‘The students have a passion for growing and cooking. This competition combines both local food and grow-your-own. I am looking forward to seeing what ideas the students will come up with.’

‘It is important to support local producers,’ said Aiden Chitty a sixth form Principal Student at Ringwood School who is part of the ‘Cook for the Queen’ team. ‘We should be proud of the food available in the New Forest. It is too easy to go to the supermarket and not pay attention to what we are buying.’

The students will work with teacher Sarah Stewart and will receive a helping hand from James Golding, Head Chef at The Pig in Brockenhurst. ‘I can’t wait to get involved in the project,’ said James. ‘The ‘Cook for the Queen’ team is going to come to The Pig with recipe ideas and I am going to bring them to life.’

The competition was launched at a special lunch at Ringwood School where students were treated to local New Forest Marque produce from Tatchbury Manor Farm, Lyburn Cheese, The Real Jam and Chutney Company, Spice ‘n’ Easy and Scotch eggs from The Mill at Gordleton. The closing date for entries is Monday 30 April and the winners will be announced in mid-May.


Notes to Photo Editor:

Pupils who are hoping to ‘Cook for the Queen’ with Gill Hickman, Sustainability Co-ordinator at Ringwood School.

Notes to Editors:

* Pannage
The right to turn out pigs during the ‘pannage’ season in the autumn to feed.  The pigs provide a useful service by eating acorns that are poisonous to ponies and cattle and the meat they produce is called Pannage pork.

The Marque® – a sign of quality.

A product is only licensed to use the Marque® if:

  • it contains at least 25 per cent New Forest produce
  • it has met stringent standards according to its particular speciality (for example, meat producers must show that high standards of welfare and good husbandry have been applied at all times).

Managed by the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council and the award scheme was created to:

  • give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services
  • help customers identify quality New Forest produce
  • encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances
  • help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment.

For more information on the New Forest Marque and who is part of the Marque visit www.newforestproduce.co.uk.

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

The Pig

The Pig in Brockenhurst is a classic country house and traditional country kitchen restaurant with a modern twist offering a unique and relaxing retreat in the heart of Hampshire's New Forest National Park www.thepighotel.co.uk

Media Contacts:

Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

Email: karen.evans-mcdaid@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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