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Apprentices Take On Trading At London’s Borough Market

On Friday 18th March, apprentices from Lexington Catering’s Lex School of Talent, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen apprentices and KPMG were put to the test at Borough Market on a busy trading day.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2016 the Lex School of Talent apprentices had just three days to plan, prepare and cook a street food product to sell at Borough Market in an ‘Apprentice’ style challenge.

Working in teams the apprentices were given £150 to source all their ingredients from the wealth of traders within the Market, they were given three days to test their products and on Thursday 17th they had to present their dish to Borough Market food quality panel, something which all traders who join the Market undertake.

The teams of apprentices had to develop a dish different to other offerings within the market:

Team one – Arancini served with onion chutney or chilli aioli

Team two – Butternut squash and hummus or pulled short rib with horseradish slaw in a handmade pitta

Team three – British mackerel and bulgur wheat burrito

Friday soon arrived and the apprentices started trading at the Market from 11am, when they ring the bell to open the Market. Each team was given until 2.45pm on their stalls, in Floral Hall, to sell as much as they could. Unless they sold out before this time!

The market was packed with hungry city workers and tourists. The teams worked hard to entice passing customers to their stalls to try their dishes. By 1:30pm all three stalls were heaving with customers and queues were building. This gave the apprentices a real challenge and we got to see how they reacted under pressure – they showed they could organise their time and pull together as a team!

By 2pm each team had become quite competitive and the atmosphere was amazing. At 2:45pm the teams packed up, counted their profits and awaited the results.

The winning was Team Arancini who raised £590 for their chosen charity, Fifteen Foundation. The winning dish will also be rolled out across the business and will pop up in restaurants during April