Young Cooks Festival Kitchen at Bridport Food Festival

Food Festival, image: Ines Cavill

‘Grow It, Cook It, Share it – who shares wins’

This year younger cooks at the festival were able to join in hands-on sessions to create food that’s designed for sharing; an edible trip around the world via classic dishes like the great British sausage roll (pork or veggie version) and Spanish tortilla.  Brilliant Bridport chefs from The Olive Tree and Klin Klan also visited to demonstrate how to make chicken nuggets and fish goujons (from scratch) and Thai vegetable spring rolls.

Ines Cavill from Bridport Local Food Group helps coordinate activities for young people at the festival said

“There was a great atmosphere at last year’s Big Tea Party so we wanted to continue that idea of cooking together to eat collectively – and during the current cost of living crisis sharing food feels increasingly important”.

Debbie Smith from Watercleaves Nursery set up a special kitchen garden play area featuring a shed and planters for younger children that explores this theme alongside growing food and says; “children are never too young to start making food and thinking about how to grow and share it too – in our marquee all ages can join in the cooking sessions in the pop-up kitchen and in the play area younger children will have compost, water and plants to explore too…”.

Ines and Debbie partnered with Bridport Youth Club to make a day of activities to appeal to every age from toddlers to teens – and with Jo Burlington who ran playful ‘Oops Wow Messy Art’ drop-in workshops that also pick up on the themes of growing and sharing food like an ‘Everlasting Drawing Banquet’ plus ‘Fruit & Veg Invention Station’.

Bridport Youth Club got young cooks helping to invent, name (and taste!) recipes for the smoothie bike to whizz up all day, producing hundreds of delicious smoothies for everyone.

Young cooks washing up

“It was brilliant to partner with Heather and the youth club plus Jo’s Oops Wow to create a dynamic day of cooking, creative and play activities for children and families at the food festival’s ‘Young Cooks’.  We also had a bonus visit from Maggie The Seaside Baker (Dorset contestant on The Great British Bake Off 2021) who looked in on the Young Cooks after her demo in the festival’s Cookery Theatre and liked what we were doing so much she joined us for all the afternoon cooking sessions!  It all made for an excellent team and we had really positive feedback from the young people who took part and their parents too.”

And a special shout out to Richard Toft’s epic solar hot water washing up station, aided by Linda Dean, which meant that Young Cooks Festival Kitchen used NO disposable kit or containers.

All the festival cooking sessions and activities for young people plus entry are free. 

The festival’s ‘Young Cooks Festival Kitchen’ was sponsored by New House Farm & Pottery who provided all ingredients and sourced these from local producers and suppliers.

The Bridport Community Cooking Kit that’s used in the festival’s pop-up kitchen is also always available to borrow by other community groups, charities and not-for-profit projects.