Chef Darina Allen is calling for cooking lessons to be included on the school curriculum, saying it is a life skill that everyone should learn.
Ms Allen told Newstalk radio that she is submitting a petition to Minister for Education Norma Foley for practical cooking classes for every child.
“At the moment I feel we're really failing in our duty of care in many ways to the next generation. So many people, even nowadays, almost two generations have left our homes and our schools without being able to cook for themselves – without the basic skills to feed themselves properly”.
“This is sort of a call to arms – and so many mothers, parents, grandparents and everybody really, really agree with this.
“It's not just younger people but many nowadays who are in highly successful careers – the CEOs of companies, all sorts of things – who have all the skills to run the country, etc., but actually some of them can scarcely make toast.”
During the pandemic people suddenly realised how “de-skilled” they had allowed themselves to become, she said. The ability to cook was part of a rounded education. “Everything stems from the fuel we put in the tank to keep the system going.”
One of the easiest ways to wean children off fast food was to teach them how to cook, she said. If children were taught a few basic skills, they could build on this.