Celebrated chef, Brian Turner, turned up ‘unannounced’ in the middle of Diane Lamont’s afternoon baking class at Edinburgh-based Strawberry Hill nursery this week, to surprise the Clydesdale Bank Centre Stage award winner on the day of the nursery’s charity bake sale.

Diane, who has worked at Strawberry Hill for five years, was presented with a Centre Stage award in June after delighted parents nominated her for the work she does creating healthy and delicious meals for their children every day. Her work also helps to promote an eco-friendly attitude among the children and get them involved in growing their own food.

Once she had recovered from the shock of Brian appearing in her kitchen, Diane quickly made use of his expertise and set the chef to work baking healthy cakes and cookies with the children for the afternoon’s charity bake sale.

Once the goodies were in the oven, Clydesdale Bank ambassador Brian chatted with Strawberry Hill staff and parents, who had all been sworn to secrecy about his visit, before rolling up his sleeves and kicking off the charity bake sale with the first transaction of the afternoon.

With Brian’s help, the bake sale raised a total of £125.00.

Clydesdale Bank ambassador and celebrity chef, Brian Turner, said: “Diane does such a fantastic job with these young children. As a chef it is inspirational to see how she communicates healthy eating messages in a fun, engaging and comprehensible way for nursery school-aged children – she is setting up great eating habits for life.

“It was a lot of fun surprising Diane and I was delighted to lend an extra hand to help the kids prepare for the charity bake sale – I think I’ve spotted some budding pastry chefs in the making!

“Huge congratulations to Diane on her Clydesdale Bank Centre Stage award win – from what I’ve witnessed it was very well deserved.”

Diane Lamont, Clydesdale Bank Centre Stage award winner, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I looked up from my bowl of dough and saw Brian Turner standing in my kitchen. The kids must have thought I was going mad as I couldn’t speak for a few minutes from the shock! Brian was brilliant though and just fitted right in to the class – the kids loved having him help them.

“I’m so lucky to have had two surprises in two months – first winning the Centre Stage award out of the blue, and now this. I don’t think that I do anything special. I just want to help give the kids the best start in life possible and feel very strongly that healthy eating can make a real difference.”

Jacqui Atkinson, Community Support Manager at Clydesdale Bank, said: “We’ve been working closely with the staff at Strawberry Hill Nursery school for weeks to keep Brian’s surprise appearance a secret from Diane. It is clear to see that she has a hugely positive impact on the young lives around her and is a very worthy winner of our Clydesdale Bank Centre Stage award.”

 Submitted by Lesley Ogilvy