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Clam-tastic; Lifestyle Editor ZOE CHAMBERLAIN goes back to school with Sunday Mercury chef Kevin Ashton to take part in a cookery class. SCHOOLKIDS WHO CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF TASTY SEAFOOD.

Byline: ZOE CHAMBERLAIN

WHEN encouraging your child in the kitchen, don't assume they will want to make only flapjacks and cookies.

Some of the easiest and most exciting dishes they can try involve fish and seafood.

And not only will they be more willing to try eating something they've laboured over themselves, but these omega-3-rich meals are very good for their health.

Sunday Mercury chef Kevin Ashton visited Holy Trinity School in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, to show a group of 12-year-olds that cooking decent, nutritious meals really can be as easy as 1-2-3.

The pupils watched avidly as Kevin created roast chicken, Dover sole, focaccia bread and mackerel dishes.

Yet, remarkably, it was a clam recipe that really got them going. As soon as it was placed before them, the youngsters literally clamoured to taste it.

Some had never tried clams before' others demonstrated how to get the clam out of the shell' some were keen seafood fans, regularly tucking into cockles, mussels and even oysters.

Within minutes the plate was empty and the youngsters were raring to have a go at cooking the dish themselves at home.

Kevin, who has cooked all over the world, says: "It's great when children can develop a real interest in food.

"This isn't about whether or not they want to become chefs. It's about being able to cook decent, nutritious meals for themselves, particularly as they're growing up and going to university.

"It's good to learn how to cook things that are really simple and that don't involve too much messing around.

"A plate of fish with salad leaves drizzled in a fresh lemon and oil dressing served with crusty bread is an excellent, quick and healthy meal, as is the clam spaghetti dish."

As well as learning how to cook, the pupils discussed genetically-modified (GM) foods, E-numbers in snacks and world hunger.

As obesity and ill-health continue to hit the headlines, could it be that future generations will actually reverse the trend and become conscientious shoppers and capable cooks?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 14, 2006
Words:336
Previous Article:EAYING IN: LOCAL ASPARAGUS WITH POACHED EGG; Each week we bring you a cut-out-and-keep recipe from top chef KEVIN ASHTON, who has cooked for American...
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