Food glorious food - our new school building is mustard!

Release Date: 29/03/2017

Celebrity Chef, Heston Blumenthal, added a celebrity flavour to proceedings, when he dropped into Hampton Junior School to judge a food competition and open a new school building.

Famous for his wildly outlandish recipes and owner of one of the best known restaurants in the country – The Fat Duck, in Bray, Mr Blumenthal cooked up a storm when he marked the grand opening at the school in Percy Road, Hampton on Tuesday.

The TV food personality cut the ribbon on the school’s new hall, state-of-the-art kitchen, year six classrooms and the newly refurbished food tech room and met the children who designed the amazing food-related art work that adorns the walls and is professionally mounted. The visit was complete when he judged a food photograph competition, signed a few of his own books - and recounted some of his favourite tales of what it’s like being a celebrity chef.

The new building has been funded by Richmond Council to help meet the growing demand for school places in the local area. The Council’s award-winning social enterprise, Achieving for Children, has worked with Hampton Junior School to permanently expand the school by an extra 30 children per school year from 2019. The hall boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen with vastly improved dining facilities and is able to double up as a dance hall, themed class activities and whole school assemblies – to name but a few of the functions. If that wasn’t enough it has large screens for projecting on to, together with a block of four classrooms for year six pupils.

Moments before the ribbon-cutting and to the sound of cheers Heston moved proceedings onto a short questions and answers session with the pupils.

“One piece of advice I’d give to you all is that when you are learning if you have any question – just ask it.”

The pupils were then given the chance to ask the celebrity chef their questions – one of which was ‘why do you love cooking’.

Heston added:

“I was born in London and went on my holidays with my parents and we went to a posh restaurant. I’ll always remember the sound of crickets, the smell of lavender and the waiter with his moustache and huge trolley – that’s what got me involved.”

Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, Cllr Paul Hodgins, said:

“Providing our children and young people with the best start in life as possible is of paramount importance to the Council and this new school building pays tribute to that fact. The finished product is amazing and is well deserved – the school is the most oversubscribed in the area and needed this expansion.”

Hampton Junior School Head Teacher, Helen Lockey, added:

“What a day – we have fantastic new facilities and a celebrity visit all in one day. This will be one of the most memorable days for the school and we’re delighted with how it has gone – the pupils have had a truly excellent time!”

Watch a video of the opening.

Updated: 29 March 2017