Image of Young Chef Award: Young Chef of the Year Award 2019 earlier this year brought pupils from two primary schools together to don their aprons and get creative in the classroom
Call for entries for Young Chef of the Year Award 2020
Young Chef of the Year Award 2019 earlier this year brought pupils from two primary schools together to don their aprons and get creative in the classroom. Thanks to funding from the JP McManus Charitable Foundation and delivery by teacher and nutrition coach Evelyn Hartigan, 53 pupils aged 10-12 years took part in the first Young Chef of the Year award in Limerick.
The challenge had pupils at St Patrick’s GNS and Our Lady of Lourdes designing a three-course ‘Meal for their Hero’ for under €10. During the award, children learned chef skills, seasonality, sustainability, cooking methods, food hygiene and safety, where food comes from and the importance of food for health. The teaching also incorporated other curriculum areas including Language, Social and Environmental and Scientific Education, Maths and Art.
The award was first launched in 2017 in Lancashire, UK through the Healthier Fleetwood initiative supported by GP Dr Mark Spencer. He explains how the idea behind the award is making a difference, “Cooking is great fun and brings families and friends together. Getting children interested in cooking and improving their nutritional knowledge is a great initiative.”
The pupils all completed pre and post questionnaires, which reflect successful outcomes. Notably, there was a 28% increase in food preparation with children measuring ingredients independently. There was also a 24% increase in food preparation confidence with children making a salad and soup on their own and a significant increase in hygiene awareness. A plus for parents is a 20% increased willingness to try tomatoes, 16% willingness to try celery and 8% willingness to try cucumber.
The 2019 pilot of the Young Chef of the Year in Limerick highlights the benefits of this award and the potential value of national roll-out across Ireland. For the Young Chef of the Year Award 2020, they will be launching the Irish website which includes teaching videos from Ireland’s very own Michelin Star Chef Aidan McGrath. They have a unique opportunity to change behaviors around food and nutrition and improve our children’s health and long-term potential.
Register their interest to take part by emailing [email protected].
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