Blog Banner


Tomorrow's Culinary Stars Sharpen Their Skills At College's OKN1 Restaurant In New BBC Series

OKN1, the new commercial restaurant at New City College Hackney, is the venue for a new CBBC children's cooking show searching for the next future stars of the culinary world.

Step Up To The Plate, broadcast on CBBC, pits eight aspiring young chefs aged 10-14 against each other in weekly cooking tests to discover a maitre d and head chef who each have the potential to be future stars in the restaurant world.

Presented by well know TV service personality Fred Sireiex and top chef Allegra McEvedy, the show was filmed in the college's modern new kitchen and restaurant OKN1, located on Hoxton Street.

In the show, contestants are tasked with everything from dealing with 'difficult diners' to feeding a whole restaurant full of hungry customers, including celebrity guests AJ from Strictly, former EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa, Blue Peter's Lindsey Russell, CBBC's Sam and Mark, Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and You Tuber Olivia Grace.

Sharon Sullivan, Group Curriculum Director Culinary Arts and Hospitality at New City College said:

It is fantastic to see our new restaurant on the television and looking wonderful! This is such a great show that can only inspire more young people into culinary careers.

It was also a great opportunity for other students at the Hackney campus, including construction students who worked alongside the BBC crew to build the sets for each episode and the culinary and hospitality students in preparing meals for the BBC crew.

Throughout the heats, viewers follow the progress of the teams over two episodes. On an initial practice day, the restaurant crew come up with themes to dress the restaurant and the kitchen crew set out to cook a complementary menu. The themes vary from a classic 'diner' themed restaurant to tropical, magical, medieval and there is even a zombie theme.

The teams learn new skills from their mentors but then have to cope with 'difficult diners' - including comedians Shappi Khorsandi, Johnny Cochrane and Inel Tomlinson, who pose as purposefully demanding customers trying to trip them up with unexpected requests and tricky questions.

Step Up To The Plate is new to CBBC, weekdays from Monday 12 August

Tomorrow's Culinary Stars Sharpen Their Skills At College's OKN1 Restaurant In New BBC Series