Norwich City’s Academy players hosted a Christmas dinner at Delia’s Restaurant and Bar on Thursday evening, showcasing skills they picked up after completing a workshop in the kitchen last month.
Second-year scholars were given the tough task of cooking and serving a Christmas dinner for parents, host parents, local dignitaries and some of City’s senior figures along with other Norwich City staff.
The players took part in a cooking workshop, led by Head Chef Nigel Ramsbottom, in November to help support those who are currently living with house parents but will be moving into apartments next season.
The players worked through various cookery books written by Joint Majority Shareholder Delia Smith, giving them the opportunity to prepare meals when they move into new accommodation next year.
Delia and fellow Majority Shareholder Michael Wynn Jones attended the meal, and both spoke to the players before the event started.
People who attended the Christmas meal were welcomed by Under-18s midfielder Ethen Vaughan before receiving a drink from Connor Parsons who was occupying the bar alongside Director of Catering, Stuart Cox.
The Academy players were split into a kitchen group and a front-of-house group, both of which were busy prior to the event starting.
The boys in the kitchen were preparing the Christmas dinner, with Nigel supporting the players whilst they got on with their jobs. The players working front-of-house were given instructions of what to do during service so the event could run smoothly.
Second-year scholar Zach Dronfield, who was working front-of-house, said: “It’s a completely different experience than we are used to, because obviously we are normally out on the pitch training or playing matches.
“It’s been good being in a different environment and trying new things. It has taken me and the boys out of our comfort zone, but I’m enjoying it.”
As well as Delia and Michael, there were a host of other senior City figures, including First Team Head Coach Daniel Farke and Assistant Head Coach Eddie Riemer.
“Hopefully he [Daniel Farke] liked the food; there was not much pressure because there’s not too much to mess up,” Dronfield added.
“Some of the boys in the squad are not used to cooking at home, or just don’t do it that often so it has been a good experience and all the boys are still learning.”
Dronfield said he has learnt a lot of new skills in the kitchen during the sessions, but was part of the front of house team on Thursday night.
“It’s not the hardest job in the world, but by no means is it the easiest; you’re doing different tasks and learning new skills like the way you have to serve the food," he said.
“For example, I have learnt that you can’t serve from the right hand side and should always come from the left. It can be hard because you have to remember quite a few things.”
The Academy midfielder enjoyed giving back to the people who help with his development.
He said: “We’re doing this to basically give back to our digs-parents; they’re the people who look after us whilst we are away from home, because some of the boys don’t live that close to the training ground so we live with the parents.
“It’s a way of saying thank you to them, saying thank you to Delia, Clive [Cook - PDP Player Care Manager] who has helped us and to others like Daniel [Farke], Stuart [Webber] and Steve [Weaver], because they give us so much.”