Following the Easter break, the Leaving Care team invited local chef Sandie Vara to run a live cookalong with our care leavers. We put together a menu that consisted of an authentic Italian pasta sauce which could then be used for several dishes including a spaghetti Bolognese and a pizza.

In preparation for this, we bought and delivered the ingredients for the young people, but they had to ensure they had sufficient cooking equipment needed for the session.

The aim of the session was to give care leavers the opportunity to put their cooking skills to the test but also to teach them the versatility of everyday ingredients. Sandie went through food hygiene, reminding young people to wash their hands and keep their workspace clear, as well as talking them through chopping techniques and flavouring ingredients.

 For the cookalong to be successful, we needed to be organised, listen and also have a certain amount of confidence to just ‘have a go!’ For some this was new and daunting territory, but Sandie was great, he kept his cool and ensured that all of the young people were supported throughout the session.

The results speak for themselves!

One young person also stated that it was the, “… best Spaghetti Bolognese” she had ever made!

Sandie reminded us just how easy and how much fun it is to cook for ourselves. It is also much cheaper and healthier than buying takeaways.

The best bit? There was plenty leftover for lunch the next day… and the day after that too!

For more information or about how you can support our young people, please contact Sonal on the Leaving Care Project, contact:

This article was first published by Leicestershire Cares.