The pandemic has taught us is that as a nation we are more resilient than we realised and, through our creativity and tenacity, have been able to find solutions to problems that we never dreamt we would be facing.
At Cookery School at Little Portland Street, we realised that with yet another extended lockdown, now is the time for us to bring our National Cooking Programme, on which we have been working for some years, to life. Most of our children having missed out on full time schooling for the better part of a year and it would be gratifying if they could remember 2021 as the time that they learnt to become proficient cooks.
The past year has allowed us to familiarise ourselves with how best to use online interactive cooking experiences and to realise the great potential that these offer. Classes HAVE TO BE interactive as demonstrations only work for the most motivated of individuals who set out to learn themselves but, for most, working alongside a teacher works a treat and shows how accessible cooking can be. We have run very large online classes as well as those for teens and the food that has been produced has been really good. We know that we have a winning formula.
By the end of our planned 20 session programme, most of the basic cooking skills required to cook decently will have been covered. We are aiming the programme at teens, in the first instance as, they will be safer on their own in the kitchens. As well as learning to cook for the sheer joy of cooking and eating what has been made, our kids will, in the most palatable way possible, learn about diet and sustainability.
We do not believe that anything as daring has been done before and we are now all set to do it from our kitchens in Little Portland Street. Because we are hoping that it will captivate the hearts and minds of, particularly, teens stuck at home, we would love to be able to have media partners and other interested parties, join us in presenting the National Cooking Programme in what we believe, will be a game changer for ever.
On the Cookery School side, we have the programme with recipes and shopping lists ‘oven ready’, our teachers in place and our kitchens set to use, but we need help in doing a really good job of it and making sure that it succeeds. Below are areas in which we are seeking help and if anyone is keen on joining us in delivering this much needed programme – particularly at this time of extended lockdown – we would love to hear from you.
• Sponsorship from companies that feel that there is a symbiosis between what they offer and our initiative.
• A provider of a platform that will partner with us to give free and unlimited access to our classes –our interactive online classes will be free for all to join
• Expertise in presenting our programmes – they will go out to a huge audience of teens – all in their own kitchens – cooking a new dish at the same time
• Publicity across all media so that we can captivate as many kids as possible to join the programme.
• Social media help. Whilst we have our own fab team, we need to expand our message as never before. This is going to be a programme that is spoken and written about so that it becomes a hot and trending topic with kids becoming engaged with it.
• Endorsements from as many people as possible that see this programme as a way forward in changing eating habits across the nation. At present Professor Tim Spector has given his backing to the National Cooking Programme. He too realises that “Education is our main hope,” and addresses this in his latest book, Spoon-Fed.
• Supermarkets and charities to help us in providing small ingredient boxes for each of the 20 sessions to those kids in food poverty.
The time is right now for giving our kids a worthwhile memory of their time in lockdown and pandemic to take forward. Imagine if they could tell their kids and grandkids that 2021 was the year that they learned to cook.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved and which of the areas highlighted above you can help us with.