University chef is looking to 'adopt' a school

"This will be an easy way for a school to get children involved in healthy eating, cooking and making the right food choices."

John Whittle, Executive Chef

A local chef is hoping to improve the lifestyles of families across Stoke-on-Trent by joining a national scheme that aims to bring professional chefs into schools to teach children about food, cookery and healthy eating.

John Whittle, Staffordshire University's Executive Chef, hopes his involvement in the Adopt a School Scheme, introduced by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, will have a knock-on effect as children share their new knowledge with their parents and friends, ultimately improving the health of families throughout the region.

He has officially joined the scheme and is now on the lookout for a school to 'adopt' and visit once a term. The chosen school will also be given the opportunity to visit Staffordshire University and experience how professional kitchens operate and how the service industry works in practice.
Participation is completely free for the schools that sign up to the scheme, and John will also provide all of the ingredients, materials and equipment for the children to use as he teaches them every aspect of healthy food preparation - from creating recipes, to front of house skills, and even how to grow food from scratch.

He said: “This will be an easy way for a school to get children involved in healthy eating, cooking and making the right food choices.”

“I just want to get food knowledge out there – it is shocking how little some children and even adults know about food. It is no longer deemed a necessary part of formal schooling, however it is an essential life skill that so many people are missing out on and it can impact the rest of their lives once they leave school and become parents themselves in the future.”

John also hopes that bringing the scheme to Stoke-on-Trent will also help to ensure that a new generation of chefs are being created in the region. “Our trade relies on children getting passionate about food and this is a great way to spark that passion.”

“Hopefully, by understanding where food comes from and discovering how easy it is to make yourself and your loved ones delicious food, it will encourage youngsters to go home share their new talents with their families, and maybe even consider a career in the industry in the future.”

More information about the Adopt a School Scheme can be found at www.chefsadoptaschool.org.uk

If you know of a primary, middle or secondary school that would like to get involved in the scheme and become ‘adopted’ by John, please contact john.whittle@staffs.ac.uk