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National Chef Gary Maclean visits Clydebank High School as part of FFF programme

Scotland’s first National Chef and winner of Masterchef: The Professionals, Gary Maclean, visited Clydebank High School last week as our Food, Families, Futures (FFF) partnership programme continues.

Gary’s visit on Friday 13 July, part of FFF and Brakes’ Meals & More initiative, engaged West Dunbartonshire children and their parents in learning about cooking healthy and nutritious meals on a budget.

The high-profile Glasgow chef is a Senior Chef Lecturer at the City of Glasgow College and passionate about the use of locally sourced, healthy, sustainable and affordable food. He is also keen to promote healthy school dinners and healthy diets.

During the visit, families were shown how to make tasty Chicken Katsu Curry and Coconut Panna Cotta with Pineapple Compote for pudding. Gary hopes to educate and raise awareness on the importance of having a balanced diet, especially during the summer holidays when children spend more time eating at home.

Gary said: “I was delighted to visit Clydebank High School and show families how to prepare and cook a healthy meal on a budget. I know only too well being a dad to five kids, how financially challenging it can be for parents over the school holidays. The meals I have prepared are easy and quick to make which is key when you’ve got a hungry family to feed. I hope my visit has helped raise awareness of the benefits of buying fresh products for both the children and their parents.”

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, said: “Gary is a fantastic ambassador for food education and has done a great job supporting children and families at Clydebank. Our FFF programme recognises that the summer holidays can be a time of great pressure for families; Gary’s input is another example of how, through collaboration and profile-raising, we can challenge these problems together.”

Councillor Karen Conaghan,West Dunbartonshire's Convener of Educational Services, said: “We know the summer holidays can be a financially challenging time for parents and we are very grateful to Gary for coming to Clydebank and sharing his recipes with us. As a Council we are committed to improving the health of residents and if we can educate our young people with the support of their parents and carers about the benefits of eating fresh food, this will have a positive long-term impact on their health and wellbeing.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “Hopefully today’s visit will help families to understand that cooking fresh food for their family is definitely the way forward. Cooking as a family can be great fun and doesn’t have to be a chore as many busy families might think. Introducing children to home cooking at a young age has many benefits you will see long in to adulthood.”

Pem Hulusi, Programme Manager for Brakes’ Meals & More programme, added: “Brakes, alongside its award-winning Meals & More holiday provision charity, continues to connect industry and chef endorsements to support families, children and communities, providing the highest quality food experiences."

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