Stand aside, Jamie. Here come the junior chefs

There's a revolution in the kitchen as a classic recipe book publishes a children's edition and cookery courses target two-year-olds

With their penchant for throwing hissy fits and random items of kitchen equipment, childish behaviour comes naturally to most chefs. This perhaps goes some way to explain why the average age of Britain's newest foodies is plummeting. Children as young as two years old are moving quickly from smearing food around their plates to prove their gourmet credentials, inspired by television programmes and a range of specialist classes, according to cookery experts.

A clutch of cookbooks aimed at children has helped to inspire interest. The latest, a child-friendly version of the bestselling Italian food bible, The Silver Spoon, comes out tomorrow. Its recipes go from simple pasta dishes such as spaghetti with tomato sauce to more elaborate ones including baked cod with vegetables or roast leg of lamb in a herb crust with stuffed tomatoes.

Amanda Grant, a food writer who adapted the recipes in The Silver Spoon for Children, said: "More children are becoming involved on a variety of levels." This includes not only cooking recipes but also shopping for specialist food items, such as unusual types of mushroom or particular cuts of meat, according to shopkeepers and farmers' market stallholders.

Nathan Mills, the manager of the Ginger Pig butcher in Borough Market, south London, said that the age of his customers was falling. "We had a couple of young girls come in recently who were able to tell me I was cutting up chuck steak and that it was 'very good for stewing'. I was quite impressed they knew that, because they must have only been nine."

Stefan Gates, who presents the BBC's Gastronuts programme, which is aimed at eight- to 12-year-olds, said there was an "extraordinary and palpable sense of reawakening among kids – an idea that food is perhaps allowed to be fun and that experimenting with food can be exciting and cool".

Cooking courses for children now start at ages two and up and are multiplying fast, with holiday-time classes regularly oversubscribed.

Annabel Karmel, who has created a mini children's food empire spanning cookbooks, ready meals and eating utensils, said the courses she ran for Haven Holidays had up to 150 kids at each session.

"The classes are 90 minutes, but you can't get them out after two hour. because they're loving it so much," she said. "Cooking appeals because children like to be part of the adult world. Plus, parents like getting children cooking because it can help with fussy eaters."

Britain's best-known young cook is Sam Stern, who published his first recipe book aged 14 with the help of his mother. He has since turned himself into a media sensation, recently publishing one written for students.

What's cooking, kids? Making pasta? It's child's play

Spaghetti with tomato sauce Makes enough for four people

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon light brown

soft sugar

1-2 garlic cloves, depending

on how much garlic you like

400g spaghetti

10 fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Put the tin of tomatoes into a saucepan and add the sugar.

2. Squash the cloves of garlic slightly with a rolling pin, then peel the garlic and add to the tomatoes.

3. Bring the tomatoes up to a gentle simmer, cover and cook very gently over a very low heat for about 40 minutes. Stir the tomatoes occasionally with a wooden spoon.

4. When your sauce is nearly ready, bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti. Then drain the spaghetti – ask an adult to help you – and put it back into the pan.

5. Take the tomato sauce off the heat, tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add to the sauce, together with the oil.

6. Carefully pour or ladle the sauce over the spaghetti, mix together and serve immediately.

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
news

As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
people
Life and Style
food and drink

Savoury patisserie is a thing now

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Service Charge Accountant

    30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?