| 9.9°C Dublin

First course: Darina wants compulsory cooking lessons

Close

Skills: Chef Darina Allen says there are youngsters who don’t even know how to toast a slice of bread. Photo: Clare Keogh

Skills: Chef Darina Allen says there are youngsters who don’t even know how to toast a slice of bread. Photo: Clare Keogh

Skills: Chef Darina Allen says there are youngsters who don’t even know how to toast a slice of bread. Photo: Clare Keogh

Darina Allen has called for cooking to be made a compulsory subject in schools, insisting: "There are youngsters now who can't make toast."

The veteran celebrity chef and Ballymaloe Cookery School founder said she's increasingly concerned that young people are losing out on a vital life skill as home economics is not mandatory from primary school level onwards.

She has pledged to step up her campaign to get cooking "embedded" in the school curriculum, alongside core subjects like maths, English and Irish.

The grandmother-of-11 (71) said: "Home economics should be a primary subject - what other subject is as important as it? We have to eat every day.

"I've realised a whole generation was encouraged to have a career rather than have cooking as a skill and that is a big problem with our education system."

Allen plans to write a home economics textbook to equip children with basic knowledge about how to prepare meals.

Her cookbook 'One Pot Feeds All' is out on Thursday.

Irish Independent