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James Sommerin's cooking with kids

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 16:11 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010

James Sommerin is the head chef at the Crown at Whitebrook restaurant with rooms in Monmouthshire. He took over the kitchen there in 2003 and has won a coveted Michelin star each year for the past four years.

James Sommerin with children and teenagers from Portland Street

Chef James Sommerin shows the children and teenagers from Portland Street how to cook rice pudding

James's first memories of cooking are as a young boy visiting his grandmother at weekends. "I used to go over there on a Friday and a Saturday when I was around four, five or six," he recalls.

"I used to do everything in the kitchen with my grandmother from making bread to baking biscuits and cakes. I particularly remember helping her make the gravy. I always had to try it first with a teaspoon."

James now has two young children himself and says he enjoys cooking with them in the kitchen whenever he can.

And he recently enjoyed passing on a few tips to some of the younger residents of Portland Street, Abertillery, who are taking part in X-Ray's One Street, One Goal project to improve their health. You can get James' chicken casserole recipe along with his recipe for rice pudding, by downloading our recipe card.

Here are James Sommerin's top tips for getting your kids interested in cooking:

  • It's got to be fun - a lot of children are daunted by the thought of cooking, so never make it a chore.
  • Start them young with the messiest, stickiest recipe possible, like making pastry or whisking custard. They'll love getting their hands dirty.
  • Involve your children in the whole process of cooking from mixing bowl to dinner table. They'll love tasting what they have made.
  • Work with them - never leave young children cooking alone in the kitchen.
  • Introduce your children to all aspects of the kitchen so that as they grow they will learn how to deal with hot ovens, sharp knives and so on.

Do you have any tips you want to share for getting your children to enjoy cooking? Let us know below.



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