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Watch: Masterchef star Gary Maclean spreads the good food word at Glasgow primary school

SCOTLAND’s National Chef Gary Maclean visited a Glasgow primary school on 7th February to teach a healthy cooking class. 

Our Lady of the Rosary has just opened their brand-new health and well-being facility thanks to Food for Thought and the hard work of their SNAG (School Nutrition Action Glasgow) Group.

The celebrity chef was assisted by Food for Thought’s Vivian Maeda, principal teacher Deborah McGroarty and volunteer parents and grandparents.

The Masterchef winner had recently returned from a trip to India to India where the Scottish team – Gary and chef Kevin McCafferty – placed third in the Young Chef Olympiad, the world’s biggest competition of its kind for young chefs.

Using the journey as inspiration, Gary chose to teach the group how to whip up a tasty lentil dahl, packed full of vegetables.

The kids and helpers were taught about different food groups and the importance of a balanced diet, and were treated to a hands-on lesson from Gary in preparing and chopping ingredients.

Everything needed for the recipe was donated by supermarket Lidl, and as an added bonus, families could also takeaways bags full of food so they could have a go at the recipe at home.

Gary said: “We should be getting our kids cooking early.

He continued: “What we’re doing is we’re planting little seeds, so that they can remember that they’ve eaten that pepper or they’ve touched that bit of ginger, and it’s no longer a mystery to them.

Gary teaches the class (Gillian Furmage/DC Thomson)

“Starting that journey of learning what food’s all about.

“Every school kid should be getting that kind of experience on a regular basis.

“Learning how to cook is absolutely vital for young people.”

Deborah McGroarty said: “The learning that was going on in here was unbelievable.

“A lot of learning new skills and experiences some of the children have never had before.

“Seeing them talk about different foods, where foods come from, watching them chopping, peeling – things some of them have never even done at home.

“It was really good to see them all getting involved.”

She continued: “Hopefully this event will spread the cooking bug throughout the school, and we’ll have all the kids coming down to use our new facility.”

The Food for Thought Programme, a national food education initiative, is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and BITC Scotland.

The scheme has supported almost 1000 schools across the country.