Could a new Jamie Oliver be cooking on gas at Banovallum School?

Kim Watts and Phil Cantwell in action at the Thai Dining room
Kim Watts and Phil Cantwell in action at the Thai Dining room

An award winning Horncastle restaurant owner is going back to school - and is hoping he might even discover the next Jamie Oliver.

Phil Cantwell, chef/owner of the highly successful Thai Dining Room in West Street, will be holding cookery demonstrations at Banovallum School.

Mr Cantwell volunteered his ‘services’ after being impressed with the behaviour of the school’s pupils at his other town centre business - Scrummies Milkshakes.

Mr Cantwell said: “I have been very impressed by the Banovallum kids who come into the shop.

“They are always very pleasant and very polite - a credit to the school and to themselves.

“There’s more than enough negativity about youngsters these days so I thought I’d do something positive about it.

“I went into the school, met the head, and said how impressed I was with her pupils.

“Things just developed from there.

“We talked about the possibility of cookery demonstrations and I’m more than happy to help out.”

Mr Cantwell will meet with the school’s food technology staff next week to finalise plans.

He will be teaching children how to cook Thai food and will also be talking about Thai customs and traditions.

He will be accompanied by chef Kim Watts who has completed her apprenticeship at the Thai Dining Room.

Mr Cantweell added: “Kim has done brilliantly and is a really important member of our team.

“She’s worked hard and now has a very exciting career ahead of her.

“What she has achieved shows that you don’t always need to come out of school with three A levels to get on in life.”

Together with Kim, Mr Cantwell - who previously lived in Thailand - will pass on tips about Thai cooking to the Banovallum students.

He added: “There is certainly a skill to Thai cooking and hopefully the kids will enjoy it.

“Who knows? I might even get lucky and discover the next Jamie Oliver.”

Nicki Shore, headteacher at the school, said: “Banovallum is very much looking forward to hosting Phil.

“He came in to see us about how impressed he was with our young people and we have taken him up on the offer to work with our food technology students.”