Mobile cooking lessons

Marlborough Farmers' Market founder Chris Fortune just missed out on getting a 2012 AMP Do Your Thing scholarship for his Kids Can Cook Kitchen.

But it hasn't stalled plans to develop the project, Mr Fortune said.

Shortlisted to a group of the top 16 applicants nationwide out of more than 2300, the Kids Can Cook Kitchen missed out on being awarded one of 12 scholarships.

The mobile kitchen, which started seven weeks ago, has visited 19 schools in Canterbury, Tasman and Marlborough with the aim of teaching primary school children how to cook.

"It's all about getting kids cooking and getting them back to the basics," Mr Fortune said.

Parents were either often too busy with work or other commitments to teach their children about cooking, nutrition and foods grown in their region, or afraid of them making a mess in the kitchen, he said.

This was where the mobile kitchen made up for the shortfall, providing children with cooking skills and knowledge about nutrition and fresh produce available where they lived.

Children cooked up food sourced from their school vege garden and learned about things such as how sugar affected the body and how to make tasty, healthy meals.

"Kids are absorbent and there is a need in our communities and homes to pass on these skills," Mr Fortune said.

Mr Fortune plans to run the Kids Can Cook Kitchen for 12 months and take the mobile kitchen around the country before passing it on to another operator.

The next leg of the mobile kitchen tour will see Mr Fortune cooking and teaching school children in Wellington during term one next year, he said.