Youngsters at two primary schools in Gwynedd have been getting creative at pizza-making sessions under the expert eye of a top chef.
Stephen Griffiths, Development Chef at Harlech Foodservice, one of Wales’s leading food distribution companies, called in at Ysgol Bro Lleu, in Penygroes, and at Ysgol Glancegin, Bangor, to help pupils turn out Italy’s answer to Welsh rarebit.
He had prepared a ball of pizza dough for each child and for staff members to join in, rolling them out and topping them with cheese, tomato, mushroom, sweetcorn, peppers, salami and even pineapple.
They clearly enjoyed their work under his expert eye and with a few cooking tips thrown in along the way before the school kitchen staff popped them in the ovens and minutes later out came a selection of tasty-looking pizzas to be popped into boxes to be enjoyed at home.
Stephen said: “This is part of the work we are doing with schools across North Wales this summer and at a number of school we are providing pizza-making sessions to give the children a taste for cooking.
“It’s such a healthy thing to do and helps them learn about the value of good food and the pleasure you can get not just from eating it but from preparing it too.
“It helps them learn about the value of good, healthy food and we have included at least one vegetable in each pizza and ensured they have the right kind of cheese, mozzarella.
It’s also important to learn about the right use of quantities – we don’t want too much tomato. No-one wants a soggy bottom.
“It’s so important for young people to learn about the value of good food at an early age and to understand and enjoy preparing and cooking healthy and tasty meals and hopefully it encourages the whole family to get involved.”
Gerallt Jones, Head of Ysgol Bro Lleu, said: “We were very happy to be part of this project. When the chef stepped into the school to craft fresh pizzas the excitement and anticipation was obvious amongst the pupils.
“It has helped develop a number of important health and lifestyle skills which will inspire a lifelong love for good, healthy food.
“I am in no doubt that this experience will provide pupils with the skills to be able to identify healthy habits, which in turn will help them become healthy, confident individuals.”
Carl Griffiths, Head of Ysgol Glancegin, said: “This was a great experience for the pupils and they really enjoyed being part of the workshop once again this year during the Food and Fun Project.
“They had the opportunity to develop their cooking skills as well as learning the value of good, healthy food in order to identify healthy habits.
“The aim is for the pupils to understand the importance of preparing healthy and tasty meals which will contribute towards them becoming healthy, confident individuals.”
The visits were organised through Cyngor Gwynedd and had a big thumbs-up from pupils and staff according to Ursula Scurrah-Price, Business Development Manager for Health Care and Education.
She said: “We are supporting families in what is a difficult economic climate and as well as taking home a pizza the pupils have taken home a bag of store cupboard essentials chosen by Harlech Foodservice to be healthy and nutritious as well as tasty.
“What we are teaching them is to have a healthy lifestyle for life and the best time to teach them that is when they are young because they really take it on board.”