The first in a series of Christchurch primary school cookery days run by Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust and sponsored by Christchurch Rotary Club has taken place at St Joseph’s Primary School.
All seven primary schools in the borough will be visited by Food Festival president Mary Reader with a team of local chefs to show the children some healthy recipes and, in many of the schools, get them to cook for themselves.
All of the recipes presented at the schools will tie-in with the themes and countries, which the pupils are studying as part of their curriculum. At St Joseph’s School, for example, the recipes cooked by the children were all using local produce, including locally-caught sea bass, Dorset goats’ cheese and Hampshire watercress. Ian Gibbs, head chef at The Kings Arms, also talked to the pupils about his use of locally-sourced products in his restaurant.
The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Peter Hall, visited St Joseph’s to see for himself how the pupils benefit from their hands-on involvement in cookery. He said, “It’s great to see how much enjoyment the children get out of actually cooking something themselves and how much they have learnt in a short space of time. Many of them of them have tasted things that they have never tasted before and to have the experience of chefs here is an added bonus.”
Mary Reader, who is also a trustee of the Education Trust, said, “We are very grateful to Christchurch Rotary for sponsoring these school activities. It’s very important for children to learn at an early age how important it is to cook healthy food and these cookery days really show them how tasty healthy food can be.”