PRIMARY school cookery days run by Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust have begun.

The initiative, sponsored by Christchurch Rotary Club, had its first session for this year at St Joseph’s Primary School.

All seven primary schools in the borough will be visited by Food Festival president Mary Reader and local chefs to show the children some healthy recipes and, in many of the schools, get them to cook for themselves.

All of the recipes will tie in with the themes and countries the pupils are studying as part of their curriculum.

At St Joseph’s School, children used all local produce, including locally-caught seabass, Dorset goat cheese and Hampshire watercress.

Ian Gibbs, head chef at the Kings Arms, also talked to the pupils about his use of locally-sourced products in his restaurant.

The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Peter Hall, said: “It’s great to see how much enjoyment the children get out of actually cooking something themselves and how much they have learned in a short space of time.

“Many of them of them have tasted things they have never tasted before and to have the experience of chefs here is an added bonus.”