About the Award

Welcome to the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ award, an innovative award making a difference to children and their families, with over 4,000 children across the UK and Ireland taking part in 2019.

This award is for 5th and/or 6th class pupils (ages 10-12) written by teachers for teachers, which covers Food and Nutrition within the classroom, as set out in the Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum (SPHE Curriculum 1999) and links with Language, Social and Environmental and Scientific Education, Maths and Art.

The award is a 6-week challenge with pupils designing and creating a ‘Meal for their Hero’. The meal includes a soup, main course, dessert and drink within a €10 budget. Children learn chef skills, seasonality, cooking methods, food hygiene and safety, where food comes from and the importance of food for health. It provides an opportunity to link with local Secondary schools, which also supports pupil transition.

The award is also supported by the College of Medicine and Integrated Health, NTOI (Nutritional Therapists of Ireland) and accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission.

Please take a look at our 2019 Impact Report. Pupils that took part in the Young Chef Award in 2019 in Limerick all completed pre and post questionnaires, which reflect successful outcomes. Notably there was a 28% increase in food preparation with children measuring ingredients independently. There was also a 24% increase in food preparation confidence with children making a salad and soup on their own and a significant increase in hygiene awareness. A plus for parents is a 20% increased willingness to try tomatoes, 16% willingness to try celery and 8% willingness to try cucumber.

“Children today have so many food choices, many of which are processed and unhealthy so delivering this programme educates children on how to make good food choices for healthier bodies and minds. Plenty of hands on practical learning and the children really enjoyed it. To quote one child, ‘This smoothie is nicer than coke!’ I think that sums it up!”

Evelyn Hartigan, Teacher at St Patrick’s GNS, Limerick


Parents, governors, teachers register interest


Simply contact us here to register a school's interest


Improve health, nutrition education and wellbeing

What's Included

Everything you need to deliver the award in your school including: a scheme of work; assessment criteria; resource checklist; exemplar letter to parents; detailed lesson plans; PowerPoint presentations; chef and nutrition videos; web links; recipe cards; printed pupil journals; teacher exemplar journal; copy of The Food Teacher™ award-winning ‘No Kitchen Cookery for Irish Primary Schools’,  posters and pupil certificates. Equipment packs are also available.

Video Example

Coordinating the award programme and resources is founder and director of The Food Teacher™, Katharine Tate, a multi award winning nutritional therapist, author and teacher, “Teaching children the importance of food for their health is essential and this challenge provides that opportunity within a purposeful and engaging context.” Katharine and her team of qualified teachers piloted the award with 7 primary schools (450+ pupils) in Fleetwood, Lancashire in 2017. 100% of those schools rated the award ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ and have committed to delivering the award again this year.

“This award is such a fantastic way of engaging children and the community. The standard of the award and the pupil outcomes were truly impressive. It’s about raising children’s aspirations, opening their minds to new experiences and to new possibilities. Being a judge at our final was one of the most rewarding experiences of my medical career and I’m already looking forward to next year!”

Dr. Mark Spencer (GP, Fleetwood Lancashire)
Find out more about Dr Mark Spencer > 

“Food is my passion and has been an exciting career. This award is inspirational for both children and their families, and could unearth the next generation of chefs.”

Chef Aidan McGrath
Find out more about Chef Aidan McGrath >