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Gary Rhodes encourages GESS Dubai audience to push for the inclusion of cookery in schools’ curriculum

Gary Rhodes is known as the Chef of Chefs, not merely because of his impressive talents in the kitchen but because of the passion, care and dedication that he brings to each meal that he creates. It is obvious that he loves what he does and he wants others to get excited about healthier eating… Especially for school children.

Gary captivated audience members inside the Blue Room (practical learning) with an eloquently delivered talk on the benefits of cookery being included in the curriculum. 

Some of his key points on teaching children about the culinary arts were:

• Cooking creates good social manners (adults and children). It is important that good social skills are developed early in children. We often observe families at social outings where parents are eating, while children are busy with tablets or cell phones instead of eating. This indicates a disconnect from what a real dining experience should be… A time for families to connect with each other, enjoy a meal together and talk with each other. When children are taught to appreciate meals, they will understand the value of eating together and display good social manners.

• Children will be able to identify the ingredients in what they are eating and understand the processes involved in preparing a meal.

• Their palettes will become open to tastes that they never noticed before or were not able to recognize.

• Children are usually proud and have increased confidence after they have created a meal.

• Remember to allow them to give their feedback on what they enjoy (eating)

“I fell in love with cooking at a very young age. I am passionate about what children eat and how they eat because I want to educate them on flavours, how to balance ingredients and more than that, I want to stimulate their young palettes,” Gary shared.

He continued by encouraging schools to focus on the health of students. He noted that with his programme, students’ meals are prepared on the same day and that fresh (organic where possible), additive free foods are used.

In closing, Gary admonished everyone to open students palettes with healthy eating (fresh, organic foods), and to open their minds to what they can enjoy and share with others.