Star chef back schools’ eco-picnic project

A MICHELIN-STARRED chef is backing a project which aims to inspire children to try local seasonal food.

Tom Kitchin has urged nurseries, primary and secondary schools to take part in the “One Planet Picnic” project and host a picnic using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The picnic scheme is part of the Eco Schools Scotland Initiative, which encourages schools around the country to be more environmentally friendly.

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Mr Kitchin joined environment minister Richard Lochhead at Hermitage Park primary in Edinburgh to launch the project, which runs between 12 and 23 September.

Establishments taking part in the initiative will showcase produce grown in school or sourced from local suppliers and children will be encouraged to think carefully about minimising picnic wrapping to reduce waste.

They will be invited to design their own sustainable picnic recipe for a chance to visit the chef’s Edinburgh restaurant, The Kitchin, which was awarded a Michelin star in July 2007.

Mr Kitchin said: “As a father myself, I realise the importance of inspiring a new generation of cooks and ambassadors for Scotland’s natural larder, which is without a doubt one of the best in the world.

“I hope that through One Planet Picnic we can help young people to understand where their food comes from and encourage them to try cooking locally sourced ingredients themselves from a young age.”

Eco Schools Scotland is run by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. The picnic project overlaps with Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, which runs from 3 to 18 September.