THOUSANDS OF YOUNGSTERS JOIN NATIONWIDE COOKATHON
More than 100,000 young cooks at home and in schools are set to take part
Budding young chefs in schools across England are preparing to take part in a national cookery challenge to win a share of £4,500.
With the help of parents, teachers and members of their local community, pupils from over 300 schools will be joining more than 100,000 people from across the country in the annual Let’s Get Cooking ‘BIG Cookathon’, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which aims to get as many people as possible cooking a healthy dish together on the same day, Friday 4 April 2014.
The culinary contenders will be creating a healthy alternative to a Friday night take-away – the Easy Peasy Pizza. The recipe has been ‘cooked up’ by the Children’s Food Trust and the experts in pizza-making – PizzaExpress, which has supported the charity since it launched its Getting Kids Cooking initiative in 2013 with the aim of inspiring a million kids to get cooking using fresh ingredients.
Cookathon 2013 at Coupals Community Primary School in Suffolk
Cookathon 2013 at Greenside Primary School in Ryeton
Last year, pupils from Coupals Community Primary School in Suffolk were crowned BIG Cookathon regional champions. The school is now getting ready to don their aprons once again.
Let’s Get Cooking club coordinator Sandra Linnane, said: “The BIG Cookathon is such a fun event that everyone can get involved in, not just within the school but the wider community.
“Being part of the BIG Cookathon brings together all of what Let’s Get Cooking is about. Seeing children and their families having fun cooking together is such an important life skill that it makes all the work that goes into the event worthwhile.”
The annual BIG Cookathon is now in its sixth year and for the first time ever, families at home are encouraged to join in too.
Maggie Sims, Head of Let’s Get Cooking, said: “We are so excited about this year’s Cookathon because by getting families at home involved as well as schools, there’s no limit to how many people we can get cooking! We’ve already got an estimated 100,000 people pledging to cook on the 4 April, which means that this will be the biggest event we’ve ever held!
“We’re encouraging mums, dads, grandparents and neighbours to download the recipe from our Let’s Get Cooking at Home website and really make a night of it.
“It’s fantastic that this year the Cookathon will be taking over kitchens in homes as well as schools up and down the country and I encourage everyone to take part. It really is an opportunity to be part of something big!”
For home cooks, there will be PizzaExpress gift cards and high street vouchers up for grabs. To enter simply download the recipe from letsgetcookingathome.org.uk and cook the pizza with your friends and family then upload their photo to the site to be in with a chance of winning.
Let’s Get Cooking is a national network of school-based cooking clubs run by the Children’s Food Trust charity, which has been supported by an initial £20m grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Wellbeing programme and boosted by an additional £3.6m grant last year.
Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund Director for England, said: “Cooking is a brilliant opportunity for families of all generations to spend quality time together, learn new skills, discover new flavours, and conjure up healthy culinary creations. With the sixth BIG Cookathon extended to the home as well as schools, I would like to encourage all aspiring young Jamie Olivers and Nigella Lawsons to get their aprons on this Friday, and get cooking.”
Maggie Sims said: “So far, Let’s Get Cooking has helped more than 2.4 million people improve their cooking skills and the impact it’s having at home is huge. We know that 92 per cent of members use their new cooking skills at home, and more than half tell us they now eat more healthily.
“Cooking and eating together are such powerful ways to bring communities together, and that’s what the BIG Cookathon is all about.”