The Kilted Chef has gone back to school to inspire young people in Aberdeenshire to share his passion for food.
Craig Wilson has launched the Kilted Kitchen Learning Project in partnership with Alford Primary School in a drive to support food education.
Mr Wilson, who owns Eat on the Green, said: “My mission is to ignite a passion for food amongst young people.
“Creating an interest in food early in life, is vital for developing healthy relationships with food and gaining basic cookery skills enables us to be independent and create good, nutritionally balanced meals which not only taste great, but are good for us too.
“It’s more important now than ever, that there is a focus on mental and physical health amongst young people, and food is a great place to start.”
Food ‘brings people together’
The new project will explore provenance and sustainability through a variety of activities, including the children working to develop their cookery and food handling skills.
They will collaborate to make a “warm and fuzzy” cookbook filled with recipes of their favourite foods and inspired by the themes of family and feelings.
A series of films aimed at nursery and primary school children have been made to show Mr Wilson’s journey to becoming a chef. The pupils will learn about what his job entails and the north-east’s rich larder, while developing a greater awareness of different foods.
The children will also be given the opportunity to take part in virtual sessions hosted by Mr Wilson. They will be challenged to find and share their personal food heroes who they believe is an advocate of great food.
Mr Wilson, who described last year as the most challenging yet due to the pandemic, added: “The project will encourage young people to get involved in cooking at home, but most importantly, I hope it will get families around the dinner table enjoying good food and talking about their day.
“Food is something that brings people together and I’m excited to see what the pupils produce.”
Elaine McGowan, head teacher at Alford Primary School, said: “The senior leadership team at Alford Primary has worked closely with Craig to create a project that is engaging and interesting for young people.
“As part of the curriculum, young people learn about the World of Work and the Kilted Kitchen Learning Project will bring the food and drink sector to life.
“As a chef and ambassador for food and drink, we are delighted to work with Craig and tell his story, giving pupils a first-hand snapshot of what it is like working in the hospitality industry.
“We hope that it will inspire our young people and we may even have the next top chef in our school.”
The teachers at Alford Primary School will be getting involved in the project themselves by taking part in a Masterchef-inspired challenge to be judged and filmed by the pupils.
She added: “The Masterchef Challenge is something we are all really excited about. It will be a real test of our cooking and organisation skills and we hope that the judges will be a bit more lenient than John Torode and Gregg Wallace.”