Young People Learn Healthy Cooking Skills
Dozens of Young people across Liverpool have been taking part in cooking sessions and learning how to source nutritious ingredients, cook & eat so they can avoid more expensive fast food alternatives a lot of their peers like. Some were so enthused in the cooking classes they say they are now considering becoming chefs in future. “I may consider a career as a chef because I have learnt a lot about cooking from Yammtree” Mark, 21 said after one of the sessions. Yammtree is the business name of Abraham Ojapah, the passionate healthy food chef facilitating the lessons
“I have learnt a lot from Abraham as he takes us through the sessions explaining how we are all what we eat and”, Judith, 19 said smiling at the end of the three hours session.
The cooking sessions is a youth focused project developed and delivered by Liverpool based charity Citizen Outreach Coalition (COC) with a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Why the Project was Developed
According to COC Public Liaison Officer Francis Langley, the organisation decided to deliver a project for young people to improve their cooking skills because of the present cost of living crisis. “We needed to help improve their cooking skills so they have healthy lifestyle and develop skills that could improve their employability. Also, because this is group work, the youngsters will also learn to work as a team which again will help them in future”. Mr Langley said. The COC officer continued this was necessary to show them how cooking is an enjoyable exercise, they will save money when they avoid depending too much on expensive takeaway unhealthy alternatives,
During each session, the young people first listen on a presentation by facilitator Abraham Ojapah on why and how they can source cheap local healthy food from local markets and cook to their taste. They then take an active part in preparing the dishes and helping out with the cooking. At the end of each session, they eat together and any left-over food is packaged and taken back home as a takeaway.
Feedback from the young people has been overwhelmingly positive. One of them, a university student said “I am not very good at cooking so it has been very good to learn to cook different kinds of food which I really didn’t know before. I also learnt a lot about most of the ingredients we were using today. Another one, a 20 year old boy said “I have learnt about nutrition and the benefits of eating healthy food which you cook from scratch”. He said the project has opened his eyes again to the dangers of fast food which are not only more expensive but less nutritious and not good for our wellbeing. On if he will ever buy takeaway food again, he was quiet circumspect…”only when that is absolutely necessary and not as I do now almost weekly. “.
That, according to COC liaison officer Francis Langley, is what the project is really about, getting young people to think differently about the food they put inside their bodies.
Abraham Ojapah, the chef and facilitator said he was delighted to be teaching young people in collaboration with COC. His one strong message to young people is that they learn the healing potential of their home cooked meals.