Budding chef is teaching other uni students how to cook

Former Fakenham high school and sixth form college student Michael Viner is now studying at the Univ

Former Fakenham high school and sixth form college student Michael Viner is now studying at the University of York. Picture: Michael Viner - Credit: Archant

When you think of students cooking, pot noodles, ready meals and takeaways come to mind. But one Norfolk student is tackling that stereotype pan first.

Salt marsh lamb with samphire couscous and paprika mayo made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Vine

Salt marsh lamb with samphire couscous and paprika mayo made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Viner - Credit: Archant

Michael Viner, 19, from Fakenham, is studying environmental geography at the University of York after going to Fakenham High School and Sixth Form College.

Mr Viner has always been passionate about cooking, and he believes that uni is the best time to learn this life skill.

He said: "It's a life skill that everyone has to learn and uni is a perfect time. It is a less stressful environment and easier to learn here."

One of the student's earliest memories is joining his dad in the kitchen and pretending to cook alongside him.

Seared mackerel, beetroot risotto with Lemon and Black pepper mayo made by Michael Viner. Picture: M

Seared mackerel, beetroot risotto with Lemon and Black pepper mayo made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Viner - Credit: Archant


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In October 2019, when he knew he would be moving away to uni, he threw himself into learning how to cook. Now he sees it as an enjoyable, rewarding pastime.

He said: "It is also relaxing to do. To have the raw ingredients and turn it into something delicious.

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"It makes me feel good. Also, it is a chance to get away from uni work for a little while."

His cooking has got him noticed online on his Instagram page, and he now has people asking for recipes and advice on their own cooking. He is also helping the people he lives with to become better cooks, he said: "All the people I live with ask me about ingredients and recipes and that makes me feel good.

Eggs Benedict made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Viner

Eggs Benedict made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Viner - Credit: Archant

"Then seeing them cooking something and enjoying themselves is great."

While he is studying for his degree, he did mention that he would love to own a restaurant, but he thinks that's a long way off. He is just enjoying cooking, finding new recipes and adding his own twist on them.

He also wants to offer advice to all the students that might be worried about cooking for themselves, he said: "It is all about not worrying if it goes wrong. Learn something small, don't throw yourself in at the deep end.

"Don't be scared. What is the worst that could happen?"

Chocolate lava cake made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Viner

Chocolate lava cake made by Michael Viner. Picture: Michael Viner - Credit: Archant

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