The National Fostering Agency have once again teamed up with Gregg Wallace (Masterchef judge and TV presenter), along with the charity, Place2Be of which HRH the Duchess of Cambridge is Patron, and Welsh book publisher Graffeg Books to produce the third Cooks and Kids book. A recipe book by kids for kids.
Gregg, along with Tom Kerridge, Michele Roux Jr, Aldo Zilli, Cyrus Todiwala and a whole host of talented chefs, Masterchef contestants and former winners teamed together with children from 6 to 18 years of age to produce a wonderful recipe book, full of inspiration, ideas and delicious recipes. Children were invited to submit their favourite recipes for the opportunity to take part in a ‘Cook Off’, where they were to be paired off with chefs and celebrity chef to create their culinary creations which were judged by Gregg Wallace.
The National Fostering Agency is one of the largest Fostering Agencies in the UK and supports fostering parents and children with individually tailored care plans for the children. More information on how you can be a foster parent or carer can be found on their website www.nfa.co.uk or by contacting them on 0800 044 3030.
Royalties for the book will be going to the Place2Be charity which provides therapeutic and emotional support assistance to children and families into 257 primary and secondary schools in the UK for children with complex social issues such as bereavement, family breakdown, bullying, domestic violence, neglect and trauma to enable them to thrive and achieve their potential.
I was invited to the book launch which was held at Aveqia in London who had generously allowed use of their demonstration kitchens for the children and chefs to create their wonderful dishes, as well as the launch, where I was able to ask Gregg Wallace a couple of questions about what inspired him to get involved and continue to work with the charities on this third book.
What prompted you to get involved with the charities and the book project? I’m a huge rugby fan and got involved through the Wasps Rugby Charity, where I have previously coached some of the rugby players. As a single parent myself I understand how important is to provide kids with support.
How did you choose which chefs to choose to participate in the project? As you know, I’m a Masterchef judge, so I approached some of the chefs, participants and previous winners that I’d worked with and invited them to take part. They all couldn’t wait to be involved in the project.
Do you have any plans to produce a fourth book? There are no current plans for a fourth book, however I will stay involved with the charity and we’re possibly planning a banquet next year. Watch this space!
During the launch, I had the absolute honour to meet and chat to one of the young cooks, Bethany, along with her foster carer, Janie. Bethany was teamed with Celebrity Masterchef 2014 winner Sophie Thompson, and together they created Flat Breads and a wonderful Chocolate Cheesecake, both of which are featured in the book.
The book is available for sale at the RRP of £20.00 via Amazon with profits going directly to Place2Be to enable them to continue their incredible and valuable work for our next generation. On a personal level, as a former School Governor for over 6 years, as well as with a friend who suffered the bereavement of one of her young children, I’ve been able to see first hand just how valuable emotional support and assistance is to families and children to help them cope as they go through incredibly difficult situations in life, and therefore cannot urge you enough to help support this charity and their cause.