Chef Raymond Blanc’s son teaches Kilburn schoolchildren to cook using cartoon worm app
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:22 03 February 2016
Primary school pupils in Kilburn are being taught how to cook and eat healthily by the son of a celebrity chef – and his wormy sidekick.
Oli Blanc, the son of celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, has chosen Kilburn Grange Primary School in Priory Park Road as the first school in north London to pilot his animated food app, Henri Le Worm, to teach children food facts and simple recipes.
Cartoon worm Henri lives in the “Forest of Plenty” and prepares his dishes in an underground kitchen where all kinds of experiments take place.
With one touch, the pupils, all of whom have access to a computer tablet, can forage for information about insects and food. The app and accompanying website includes simple recipes from his famous father, which the children will apply in their cookery lessons.
Mr Blanc said: “It’s a kind of Sesame Street, but where that was about literacy, Henri is about food, about ecology and the relationship with nature.” He added: “Food is about enjoyment and excitement. If young children learn that lesson now, hopefully they can run with it in the future.”
Cooked school dinners are compulsory at the free school, which opened in September with just 60 reception pupils.
Headteacher Helen Richardson said packed lunches were “hard to monitor” in previous schools where she worked, with children often coming in with just chocolate and crisps. She said: “We do have children who are reluctant to eat some food. At home they have a different menu, or they prefer fast food.” She added: “We’ll use the app to encourage them to learn about and try different food.”
Sharon Linney, operations director of Absolutely Catering, the school caterers, said: “We are weaving it into the curriculum. We’ll take the children for cooking lessons and introduce all the great things food can do linking it directly with the app.”
Henri Le Worm is available for £1.50 on iTunes with discounts for school. Visit the website at: henrileworm.com.