Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Taste of Cooking

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Taste of Cooking

Article excerpt

Children's cooking skills are going up in smoke, so says new research.

But Teesside chef Matthew Brown reckons a sprinkle of fun and a dollop of enthusiasm is all it takes to re-ignite their interest. MARIE TURBILL hears how.

LITTLE chef Hannah Bennington is a whiz in the kitchen.

Not only can the 11-year-old prepare herself a nutritious meal but she can also serve tasty dishes for the whole family too.

Younger sister Abby, eight, is always close at hand to cook up a tempting starter or dessert.

All sous chefs Louise and Glenn, otherwise known as mum and dad, have to do is be ready to follow instructions.

"From being very little they have always known about food and taken an interest," says Stockton mum Louise.

"We have always made biscuits and things together from the girls being very young."

And the proud mum admits that she has always been a keen cook too.

"I remember cooking with my mum and maybe that is where I got my interest from," she says.

Louise is glad that her own daughters are following suit after all it means that she is safe in the knowledge they are getting a healthy mixture of foods.

Unfortunately this isn't the case for all youngsters.

According to a new poll more than 90% of teachers questioned feared that children were growing up incapable of preparing a home-cooked meal.

Fewer than half of the pupils aged nine to 16 could recognise a ladle or spatula.

A quarter believed saute was a type of French dance and one in 20 thought it was a wig.

On the other hand 94% knew what a microwave was.

The research, carried out by tickbox.net on behalf of Sainsbury's, questioned 1,585 children, parents and teachers.

The findings suggest that cookery skills are deteriorating in the home with more than a quarter of parents not encouraging their children to cook.

Teesside's own catering expert Matthew Brown was not surprised by the findings.

"This report is a welcome reminder of just how little our children are aware of what they eat and how it comes to them," he says.

"With regard to the ladle when I was a kid, as part of a big family, we were all aware of what a ladle was from an early age. …

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