If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you’ll know how important my boys cooking club, Les Petits Chefs, is to me. As an adult and an educator, I feel a great sense of responsibility to pass on my knowledge of from-scratch cooking to my students along with a little education about healthy food choices.
Les Petits Chefs is not just about cooking though – it’s about life skills as I wrote in this article over on Jamie Oliver.com.
Teaching cooking club for the past two years has taught me that kids can do anything – you raise the bar and they will come up to meet your expectations. My latest article on Jamie Oliver.com talks about the issue of kids’ cookbooks. (Hint: my boys would be bored stiff if I stuck to cookbooks written specifically for kids. They can do so much more).
And even though I sometimes feel my contribution to the next generation’s education about food is just a drop in the ocean, at the end of the day, if I make an impression on one little mind (and I know I have!), I am doing a good job. Because that one little boy might teach his siblings how to cook a dish from scratch; they might teach their friends, who might teach their family, who might teach their friends and …. well you get the picture. Big changes don’t necessarily come from big actions – in fact, many small actions can add up to a big change.
When the opportunity arose for me to continue my “passing it on” – to stand up for real food along with similarly passionate people all around the world, I jumped at the chance. That’s right – save the date – May 19th is Food Revolution Day – a global day dedicated to raising awareness and education within our communities to empower people to make better food choices. I’m a Food Revolution Ambassador for Toronto, along with a small, but dedicated, group of people working together to organise our own events but also spread the word about the Day, inspiring others to organise their own “real food” events too.
Through this first ever Food Revolution Day, the Jamie Oliver Foundation hopes to inspire, educate, and empower people everywhere to stand up for real food. Thousands of people worldwide will participate in events to raise awareness on preventing diet-related diseases, and to arm people with the knowledge and tools to make healthier food choices that will lead to healthier lives.
Already there are 174 events listed in 117 cities across 19 countries – so, how about it – will you stand up for real food with me? Visit foodrevolutionday.com to find local food events. Or maybe you want to host an event of your own - share your skills and knowledge about food with your community through cooking classes, gardening tutorials, sessions about starting a food blog or tours of farmers markets. You can also sign up to host a dinner party or private event and even request to bring food education to schools and workplaces.
What will *I* be doing? Well I’m hosting a very special Petits Chefs class. I’ve invited the Petits Chefs’ families into the school one night in the week leading up to the Day and I will lead the boys in a lesson where we will work through a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution recipe. The catch? The boys will be teaching their parents and siblings – a true, grassroots, “pass it on” experience. After we’ve finished cooking, we will sit down to eat the meal together, another key component in the Food Revolution – getting families back to the dinner table together. I am REALLY excited for this event and so, it seems are the Petits Chefs parents
My public event for the Day will take place on May 19th from 10.30 to 12.30 - thanks to the generous support of The Kitchen Studio and The Cookbook Store here in Toronto. I will be offering a small, hands-on cooking class for parents and children where we will prepare and enjoy a simple from-scratch meal from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Following Jamie’s premise of passing it on, participants will be actively involved in the food prep and will receive a copy of Jamie’s book so they, too can “pass it on” to others. This is a free event, made possible by the generosity of Alison from The Cookbook Store and Tony from The Kitchen Studio. Class size is limited. Want to join me (or know someone who might?) – more information on this free cooking class can be found on the Food Revolution Day site. With great thanks to The Kitchen Studio, The Cookbook Store, Harper Collins Canada, Sobeys, Yorkshire Valley Farms and Mighty Juice for providing space, food, books and juices for this event. Your support is much appreciated!
I do hope that you will consider planning your own event as well as reaching out to others to do the same. Team up if you like, or go solo. What you do and the way you do it is up to you! It can be as simple as hosting a dinner party, planning a tour to a farmer’s market or farm, or a teaching a cooking class. The key is to let creativity run wild and get involved in a way that suits your style. Check out the different ways you can participate in Food Revolution Day and stand up for REAL FOOD!