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MGS Activities Week – Pie Challenge & Recipe

MGS Activities Week – Pie Challenge & Recipe

We’ve had a fantastic week at the cookery school with 25 of the politest, most engaged boys we’ve ever seen, it has been a pleasure to teach them cooking skills as part of their annual activities week. We wanted to make sure the boys learnt to cook a dish everyday and we were thrilled to hear that many of them had gone home and cooked for their families each evening.

The boys were with us for five days and split into teams with the last day culminating in a creative and inventive competition using skills they had learnt all week.

Day 1 – Knife Skills; Hygiene; Pasties; Profiteroles

Day 2 – Flat Breads & Kebabs – Gyros Souvlaki Chicken; Jason’s Greek Pastries – Honey & Cheese Rolls

Day 3 – Korean – Bibimba, Vegetable Samosa, Steamed Coconut Buns

Day 4 – Burgers and Brioche Sesame Buns – MGS ‘Eton’ Mess

Day 5 – Competition Day


Competition – Pie challenge

The brief was to come up with a unique pie dish that represented their school, Manchester or anything else they could think of. It could be sweet or savoury and all the planning had to be done the day before with recipes and methods agreed. The boys had an hour to come up with their chosen dishes and the Food Sorcery team set about gathering the ingredients – which included bee pollen, Oreo biscuits, chocolate as well as more usual ingredients chicken, beef, carrots, onions and potatoes. We had one request for squid ink but on advice from Chef Jason Palin it was left out as it wasn’t a great combination to go with beef!

The pie entries were

Green Team – Picasso Turtle Chicken Pie

Navy Team – Chocolate Oreo & Strawberry Pie

Maroon Team – Chocolate & Apple Roulade

Grey Team – Beef ‘MGS’ Pie

Royal Blue Team – Sweet Mixed-Berry Custard Pie

Light Green Team – ‘MGS’ Cherry Custard Pie

The boys put in a fantastic effort, the the pies looked and tasted amazing but there can only ever be one winner…

And the winning team was… The Green team with their Picasso (Bee) Turtle Pie – infused with bee pollen, chicken breasts, honey mustard and white sauce. It was chosen for it’s originality, team organisation, presentation (in the shape of a bee which was decided looked more like a turtle) and taste.

How to make – Picasso Turtle Pie – by the green team


  • Butter
  • Puff Pastry
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parsely
  • Oregano
  • Bee Pollen
  • Honey
  • Mustard – dijon or wholegrain
  • Oil
  • Chicken
  • Paprika
  • Egg for glaze



  1. Line a baking tray with melted butter, place puff pastry on the bottom and sides. Cook in the oven until done.
  2. Make a white sauce from a block of butter, flour and milk. Season with parsley, oregano, salt,  pepper and bee pollen.
  3. Make a honey mustard by combining honey with mustard (dijon or wholegrain) to taste.
  4. Fry chicken breasts in a frying pan with oil and season during cooking with salt, pepper and paprika. Finely dice cooked chicken.
  5. Line the pastry base with the white sauce, then add a thin layer of honey mustard and then add the diced chicken. Repeat this for another layer.
  6. Next, add a last layer of white sauce before adding another layer of puff pastry to the top. Spike the pastry multiple times with a fork and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Whilst cooking the pie, create two wings, four legs, two antennae and a tail from the remaining pastry. Add the egg glaze and cook in the oven.
  8. Once cooked, place the pastries from step 7 around the pie on a large board/plate to form a bee-line shape.
  9. Finally, place edible flowers around the bee and dust a small amount of Bee Pollen for decoration.