Disney Channel to Premiere New Cookery Show, First Class Chefs
First Class Chefs is a brand new live-action cookery series with Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr. The show will see kids from across the UK battle it out for the chance to win £10,000 to fund a project for their school. First Class Chefs is inspired by The Walt Disney Company's long-standing commitment to healthy living, and offers entertaining family content which focuses positively on healthier lifestyles.
Produced by Jamie Oliver's award-winning production company Fresh One, First Class Chefs comprises of nine episodes and will premiere on Disney Channel on June 22nd at 4.30pm. The series will follow 12 teams (each made up of two children aged nine -11) compete across four rounds designed to transform their relationship with eating and preparing healthier food. First Class Chefs will be co- presented by The Evermoor Chronicles actors Georgia Lock and Finney Cassidy.
Special guest chef, Emily Roux, Michel Roux Jr's daughter, will join the judging panel to help her father choose the series overall winner.
Michel Roux Jr comments: I'm hugely passionate about food and giving young people the opportunity to get an insight into an industry that is both challenging and rewarding. Disney Channel's First Class Chefs is the perfect platform to celebrate the next generation of talented youngsters, I believe that the knowledge and skills needed to prepare great food is invaluable and perhaps we may inspire a future Michelin-starred chef!
First Class Chefs delivers on Disney Channel's promise to encourage kids to fulfil their potential. The show's fun, action-packed take on food, nutrition and teamwork will give kids the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills while inspiring them to follow in the footsteps of their foodie heroes. The series not only encourages kids to lead a healthy lifestyle, but also uses ideas around recipes, food and nutrition to deliver shared experiences that can be talked about in the playground, with friends and at home.
Q&A with Michel Roux JR!
1. Why did you agree to host the first ever Disney Channel cooking show, First Class Chefs?
For me, it ticked all the boxes of what modern cooking is about, and it's about inspiring young (very young) chefs, which is important. Although the contestants may not become chefs, it is inspiring them, and the audience to cook well, as well as showcasing good food. And I believe that good food and the ability to prepare it, is an essential recipe for life.
2. Can you tell me more about your role on the show and the different challenges the contestants come up against?
Well I am the mentor or the figure head, and the chef. So I set the challenges, I taste and critique their food, whilst giving them tips, help and support on the way. First Class Chefs is a very serious competition in that we don't bend the rules, they have to abide by the rules and cook well. And I am afraid that if they don't, like all competitions, they have to leave. It is gut-wrenching and it is nice. There has to be a winner. We have to find one!
3. How well do you think the contestants handled the pressure in the kitchen?
I think they handled it really well. In fact, they handled it much better in some respects than professional chefs. They are of an age where they are almost carefree and enjoying their cooking for what it is. So they don't feel as much pressure, they have the innocence of youth and so it's wonderful. They're not that nervous, they're just enjoying themselves, which is great. It puts me at ease.
4. What's your favourite moment or highlight from filming the show?
I have had some great dishes served up, and some not so great. But for the most part, they have been cooked well and greatly devised. We had a wonderful Indian lamb curry, which was fantastic. It was spiced perfectly, and the young boy who served it up, put quite a big chilli on the top. He said to me, don't eat the chilli, it will blow your head off! There are some great dishes.
5. Why do you think it is important to inspire kids to get cooking with healthy food at a young age?
It sets them off in the right direction. Healthy food isn't boring food, and I think that we need to get that message across, as well as getting kids interested and involved in cooking. Get kids into the kitchen and encourage them to start cooking some very basic dishes and then they can appreciate good food. With that knowledge, they can go forward and make decisions about eating well, whilst having fun with food.
6. What three words would you use to describe First Class Chefs?
Fun, healthy and innovative
7. Why do you think kids should tune in to watch the brand new series of First Class Chefs?
To learn a lot about food and because there are a lot of healthy recipes included in the show. It's a real competition, you can get involved, you can see the young children evolving throughout the programming getting better and stronger. Everyone loves a good competition. It's exciting.
Watch First Class Chefs every Monday and Tuesday at 4.30pm on Disney Channel!
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