Craig Wilson, the Kilted Chef, has gone back to school in a drive to support food education in Aberdeenshire. In partnership with Alford Primary School, Craig has launched the Kilted Kitchen Learning Project to inspire young people to share his passion for food.
The initiative includes a series of films aimed at nursery level to Primary 7, exploring Craig’s journey to becoming a chef, what his job entails and how he became interested in food. Pupils also learn more about the north east’s rich larder, whilst developing a greater awareness of different foods, and gaining essential ‘life skills’ in food handling and cookery. The project is underway in Alford Primary School and will continue into the 2021/2022 session.
Craig Wilson comments, “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.”
Whilst the project explores provenance and sustainability, it will also look at themes such as food, family and feelings. Pupils will also have the opportunity for live virtual sessions with Craig, where he will challenge pupils to find and share their ‘food heroes’. These are people who they think are advocates of great food, from their granny’s broth to the fish man who delivers fresh fish to their street, their favourite TV chef or someone doing amazing things with food on social media.
Craig continues, “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.”
Teachers will also play a part in the project as they will take part in a Masterchef style challenge, judged and filmed by school pupils, Elaine continues, “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.”
Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee added: “It is great to see this project coming together with such zest and enthusiasm which will be hugely inspirational for our young people. Partnership working with local businesses and communities brings many benefits for all and I look forward to seeing how this project develops in the future.”