University of Afpuddle's Head Chef Monsieur Choux Pastrie was awarded an MA [b364] degree today for services rendered to Mass Catering. The 64 year old Frenchman - said to poach the best breakfast eggs this side of Sutton Poynz - has been feeding the insatiable appetites of Afpuddle academics for over 10 years, coming the the University in 2010 after a successful stint at Alma Mater College, Cambridge. There he had risen from the ranks of Kitchen Porter [3rd Class] to Sous Chef [Dumplings] after a period of study at the local Catering College [BTech [Baked Goods]]. Some doubted whether the temperamental and otherwise self-made expert en oeufs could make the transition to full catering duties, but if the size of the stomachs and the smiles of self-satisfaction on the faces of the well-served academic staff are anything to go by, he has succeeded in his task magnificently.
[CONTEXTUAL NOTE: The University of Afpuddle has been awarding degrees since mediaeval times though this is believed to be the first occasion on which a chef has been awarded the MA [b364] degree. Research suggests it was once awarded to the University Assassin [abolished 1864] whose duties included "wasting the academic voted least popular at a special congregation each year']. Designed to honour those with no recognised academic qualifications, the MA [b364] degree allows holders to mix freely with "proper academics" the better to serve their needs. Prior to the award of the degree Monsieur Pastrie would have been obliged to stand on the other side of the refectory serving hatch heavily masked and assuming a supplicant posture. Once CONTRIK-69 restrictions are removed he will able able to cross the hatch-threshold, face fully exposed and in a semi-upright manner. Until then he will continue to stand on the other side of the serving hatch heavily masked and assuming a supplicant posture.]
At the virtual ceremony beamed from the Dutch Antilles, Acting Temporary University Orator and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, Research, Student Affairs and On-Campus Betting Services, Professor Grantham Capricorn, praised Monsieur Pastrie's qualities in the traditional Latin oration, describing him thus:
Ego praesens vos pro vestra approbatione, sicut homo peritus cum cultello ut cum cochleari, et magister librum simplex felis. Amatur ab omnibus, qui comedit ad eius mensam, ipse facit nos, et adipem cum fructibus terrae et patiens, tam in cogitatione et opere. Scolarium et Ministri Universitatis Afpuddle commendo homo, et omnes eius res gestas ad hoc distinguuntur congregatio et invitare te ad parva prandium paratum a eum, in nostro honore. [© The University of Afpuddle Registrary's Office]
[I present to you for your approval man as skilled with a knife as with a spoon and a master of a book of simple recipes. Loved by all who have eaten at his table, he makes us fat with the fruits of the land and slow in both thought and deed. Scholars and Officers of the University of Afpuddle I commend this man and all his achievements to this distinguished congregation and invite you to a small meal prepared by him in our honour*.]
*Speech prepared in advance, light-finger buffet postponed indefinitely due to CONTRIK-69 protocols and restrictions
In a later private and non-streamed virtual meeting, Professor Capricorn, who was standing in for self-isolating [Bahamas] Chancellor Lord Waitaminute, presented Monsieur Pastrie with a whisk, two hand knotted egg-coddlers and a £5 Waitaminute Ready Meals Voucher. A spokesperson for the University later confirmed that "an unfortunate incident in 2016 with a meat-hammer and a student's head had not been held against Mr Pastie since both of the parties involved had spent time with the cooking sherry and blame was difficult to apportion".