Interesting read and quite timely as my blog last week was questioning the future of our cookery skills. Waitrose Weekend newspaper – 27th April 2017 “Youngsters are learning the benefits of cooking from scratch earlier than ever…”
I teach at several local schools in Surrey and Kent and completely agree with the article in the Waitrose newspaper. Cookery classes are becoming as popular as swimming and ballet!
However the reason I agree with the article is that it is not all about cupcakes and decorating biscuits…
I am passionate about the education of what it takes to make great food to eat from scratch. This does not have to be complicated and expensive and I am enjoying the opportunity of teaching weekly at school clubs.
The way I explain it on my marketing literature, particularly for childrens holiday cookery camps:
“Cookery is a life skill and a subject I feel very passionate about! I have two daughters and I feel the more children can be involved in preparing food – from the beginning – the more likely they will enjoy eating and exploring adventurous tastes and flavours.”
It is so true, we have made beetroot brownies, made hummus dip (crushing garlic and zesting lemons) and learnt about herbs, spices to create healthy snacks. Initially I found there were a few complaints from the children as we were using unusual ingredients and combinations. The most common issue is that the children have tried something at home and immediately not liked it, and never had a second chance! Then its just easier not to push it on their plates again. Its all about the food adventure and giving it a try maybe for the first or second time. I love seeing childrens faces when they try new flavours for the first time…or they make that first taste discovery and really rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in to making pastry or whisking up a mixture.
It may well be the combination that ‘I am not your Mum’ and some friendly peer pressure from the group I tend to have success in getting them to certainly try something new. As young chefs I explain its all about exploring foods and tastes. Being professional we sometimes play the game that we are on a ‘bake off’ or ‘Masterchef’ TV show and you cannot possibly not try a recipe. Sometimes you may not like something on its own but when it is used in a recipe with other ingredients it can be completely different.
Encourage the children to be open minded and to watch their confidence in food knowledge grow over the weeks, it is very rewarding.