A CHEF who has cooked for rock stars and royalty served up a treat for students at the opening of a school dining hall.

Michel Roux-trained chef Jo Stoddart invited pupils and guests at Longfield Academy, in Darlington, to take part in a fun tongue twisting flavour challenge using jelly to help celebrate the unveiling of the school’s first ever dedicated dining facility.

She worked for Michel Roux at his restaurant Le Gavroche in London for six years and is now in charge of catering at the award-winning Middleton Hall Retirement Village, near Darlington.

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She said: “It is an absolute honour to be invited along to be a part of the opening celebrations for Longfield’s new dining hall,” said Jo.

“I think it is a fantastic area, very colourful and vibrant and a place students will really enjoy coming to eat their lunch.

The new dining area is part of a multi-million pound re-development of Longfield Academy, which has seen the infrastructure of the school significantly improved both internally and externally.

Deputy headteacher Beverley Clifton was nominated to cut the ribbon for the dining hall after teaching food technology at the school for more than 33 years.

She said: "This is the first time there has been a dedicated dining facility at Longfield in the school’s 46-year history.

“We never had the space or resources before to provide a separate dining room and had to use the main hall where PE classes and exams are held.

“It means a lot to the school to have this new space. We’ve always provided good quality nutritious food and now we have a good quality environment to eat it in.”