YOUNGSTERS cooked up a tasty feast – with a little help from some of the town’s top chefs.
Twenty children from across Kirklees rolled up their sleeves to produce a variety of English, Indian and Caribbean dishes.
The Cooking Super Learning Day was organised by the University of the First Age and Kirklees Council’s extended learning service.
Chefs Barrington Douglas, of Huddersfield’s Discovery Bay restaurant, Kirklees College executive chef Simon Hallas and Prett Tejura of Wakefield’s Curry Cuisine shared their skills.
They worked in groups at Kirklees College to give the youngsters demonstrations and talks about different cultures and the environmental impact of sourcing ingredients.
They then helped them prepare a menu of dishes for all the children to sample.
Caribbean fried dumplings, brown stew chicken, rice and peas, onion bhajis and chicken masala were among the culinary delights.
The students – aged 12 to 16 – also produced a quiche, parkin and ice-cream made from local produce to reduce the carbon footprint.
Caribbean chef Barrington said: “We tried to make the food flavoursome, but at the same time healthy, by taking out a lot of the oil and adding a lot of vegetables.
“The kids have been tremendous. I get a lot of pleasure out of teaching kids to cook.
“Whether they are academic or not, they can all turn their hands to cooking.
“There are no exams, just basic cooking skills that they can take away with them.”
The event was organised by a team of UFA peer mentors.
The 16-year-olds came up with the idea and helped book the chefs and arrange the venue.
Georgia Power, one of the team, said; “We had a cooking bus a few years ago and everyone really liked it.
“We just thought cooking is such a valuable skill and it is very enjoyable.
“It has also given them all something to do. It has gone so well.”
Royds Hall pupil Lorcan Keegan, 12, was among the young chefs taking part.
He said: “I have been making curry and I found it really interesting.
“I didn’t know anything about making curry before and I now I have learned about all the spices.
“I’m going to do some cooking at home now.”
Clr Cath Harris, cabinet member for children and families, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about food.
“As well as cooking with the experts, these young people discussed the dishes they are preparing and looked beyond and behind what eventually goes on a plate.
“Being able to cook is an important life skill but they will also gain an understanding of different ingredients and cultures and may feel passionate enough to pursue this sort of career.
“And as the council promotes a healthy lifestyle among all communities and age groups, this really is an excellent initiative.”