Baking for TV... a piece of cake

15th December 2000 at 00:00
The edible star of the celebrations that marked Coronation Street's 40th birthday party was made by a catering student at South Trafford College, near Manchester.

Emma Ball, a level 3 pastry and confectionery student, made the giant birthday cake shaped like the famous street. She was joined by popular Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalgh who plays the transexual Hayley Cropper, at the Rover's Return for the unveiling.

Emma has won national awards for her cooking. But she was not the only college student who got involved with the famous Granada studios. While the cake was on display at the Manchester headquarters of Granada, other students were handling the catering for the annual Christmas bash for staff and guests, held on the set of Coronation Street.

Students cooked and served the traditional northern fare of fish, chips and mushy peas for the 1,000-plus guests. To follow there was a choice of sticky toffee pudding, bread-and-butter pudding or chocolate-chip sponge.

Graham Fleming, the college hospitality and catering manager, said the logistics of the catering opeation for the party took some managing. The fish and chips were shuttled from a nearby Harry Ramsden's fish restaurant before being finished off in fryers at the studios.

He added: "We have worked with Granada studios before and it shows their confidence in our students' ability that they were given the chance to take on such a prestigious catering operation.

"It is marvellous experience for the students, who not only had the chance to cater for 1,000 people at the studios but also got to meet the stars of Coronation Street and other popular shows as well."

While the guests could look at Emma's cake they were not able to taste it until after a VIP party attended by the Prince of Wales to mark the anniversary. It then went briefly on display at Manchester Town Hall before being consumed.

Mr Fleming praised Emma Ball's achievement and said it showed the standard college students were achieving.

"Granada is one of the biggest names in Manchester and it is looking to use us as the local catering college. That speaks volumes for our students," he said.

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