Let’s get students into the kitchen!
Today we launch a campaign to get students into the kitchen. It’s called Students Can Cook because we believe that the image of students as incompetents who can’t boil an egg is wearily clichéed and out of date. Anyone can cook if they want to
To help get the message across we’ve enlisted the support of some of Britain’s best known chefs and food writers including Heston Blumenthal (who endorsed our recent cookery book The Ultimate Student Cookbook), Allegra McEvedy of the recent BBC series Economy Gastronomy, Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace, the Observer’s food critic Jay Rayner and one of the most iconic chefs of the last decade, Fergus Henderson of St John.
You’ll find their recipes in our new Students Can Cook section (left) and they’ll pop up from time to time among our daily updates to give you inspiration. You may notice that some of their recipes are quite ambitious. That’s fine with us. We’ve never patronised students on this site believing if you can write an essay you can follow a recipe. What many references to ‘students’ tends to overlook is that they come in all shapes, sizes and ages these days. Students are not just freshers in their teens but mature (well, comparatively mature!) MAs and PhD students in their 20s and 30s who may never have got round to learning to cook.
The campaign will also be seeking to persuade student unions and universities to do more to encourage students by removing some of the barriers to learning to cook such as limited access to shops and badly equipped kitchens and identifying students who can cook to be ‘Food Friends’ to others who can’t or who would like to learn.
We firmly believe the key to enjoying your time in the kitchen is to cook with other people whenever possible - neighbours in hall, housemates, family or friends. That’s the way people used to learn to cook and how professional chefs still do. You share the load, work through any problems together, gossip and natter . . . cooking, like eating, should be convivial - and fun. Check out the student section for some ideas for cook-ins - we’ll be posting many more throughout the year. And if you’re a parent reading this see how you can do your bit to encourage your kids to get inspired by food
And everyone please, please spread the word to encourage as many students as possible to get involved - there’s an active community on our Facebook page.
Home-cooked food is cheaper, tastier, healthier and more satisfying to the soul. And anyone can make it . . .
Photo of Signe Johansen, one of the student authors of The Ultimate Student Cookbook by Andrew Crowley