Bristol launches 'Teaching a City to Cook' to get young people cooking

Bristol is set to get inspired about food as a new programme “Teaching a City to Cook” launches alongside a competition to find the city’s Young Cook of the Year. SUGAR SMART Bristol, local chefs and others team up to get the city's next generation cooking. 

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The programme has been developed with the help of local professional chefs including Josh Eggleton (from Pony and Trap), Adrian Kirikmaa (St Monica’s Trust) and Barny Haughton (Square Food Foundation) to encourage young people to eat more healthily. Adrian said:

I’m really proud to be a part of this exceptional project. Food brings so many different positives to our lives, whether it be eating, well-being or a career in hospitality. We are also launching The School of Food and hope to encourage as many young people as possible into a vibrant and exciting career.

Teaching a City to Cook is part of the SUGAR SMART Bristol campaign. The 91 Ways local initiative worked with the new programme to ensure it is culturally inclusive to the many diverse communities that make up Bristol.

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, the Girl Guides and schools have already signed up to take part in the scheme to support their young people and to link with local professional chefs, who can provide some expert advice.  

The aim of “Teaching a City to Cook” is to educate and encourage Bristol’s young people to cook for themselves using fresh, seasonal food. A new digital support toolkit is available for teachers and community groups to use, and  includes videos from BBCs Good Food website with recipes to enable students to practice their new skills.  

Currently Bristol has the highest level of tooth decay (at nearly 30%) in the South West and higher than average levels of childhood obesity, with nearly a third of children aged 10 to 11 years old carrying excess weight.  Both these conditions are associated with a poor diet and can lead to long term health problems later in life, but are entirely preventable.

The programme will lead up to the Young Cook Awards later in the year which will provide an opportunity for children in years 6, 7 and 8 to put into practice the new skills that they’ve learnt in a competition. Young adults between the ages 15 and 17 years will have an opportunity to apply their cooking skills for the Young Apprentice Award. Winners from both of these competitions will be announced during Bristol Food Connections Week in June.  

SUGAR SMART is a campaign of Sustain and Jamie Oliver. It is currently the feature campaign of the Sustainable Food Cities network.


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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.