Multi-award-winning chef and MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2016, Gary Maclean visited Kibble Safe Centre last week (26 April) to talk to staff and young people about how to make the most of locally sourced, healthy and affordable food. The Safe Centre supports young people aged 12-18, many who have experienced trauma, and are at risk of harming themselves or others.
The talk and cooking demonstration were delivered as part of Scotland’s Good Food Nation ambitions which aims to promote access to, and understanding of, the benefits of healthy local foods. Scotland’s National Chef Gary cooked up a storm and presented young people and staff with chilli pesto pasta and chocolate fondant pudding to sample. For some, it was the chance to try new foods, with one young person commenting on the unusual colour of the pasta – it was green pesto. Everyone agreed the food was delicious and plates were soon cleared. There was also time for young people to chat to Gary and find out more about how he first discovered his culinary talents and how his love for cooking has taken him all over the world.
He then moved on to a ‘masterclass menu’ session with the catering staff at the Safe Centre who cook for the young people each day, as well as the home economics teachers who ensure healthy meal prep is embedded within education.
Claire Lunday, Depute Head of Education at Kibble, said: “Of course when you are providing care for young people, the most pressing factor is ensuring that the individual is safe and happy but it’s also extremely important to prepare them for a healthy future when they leave care.
“It was great to have Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean at our Safe Centre to deliver a positive message to the young people that live there, inspiring them to think not only about fresh and healthy cooking, but the different options available to them when they leave care.”
Gary said: ‘It was fantastic to be at Kibble today and meet the people there. It is clear they do fantastic work. Speaking to the group and talking to them about food and cooking really brought out their enthusiasm and interest, and I hope I helped them understand how easy it is to eat good quality, healthy food.
“The reality is that no matter what young people go on to do, they’ll need to learn the skills to do so. It’s vital that we’re allowing them to try and test different industries to increase employability and enhance their future.”