THE children of Hatherleigh Primary School have been learning about healthy cooking with TV chef Tim Maddams.

Tim, probably most famous for featuring regularly on the Channel 4 River Cottage TV series, visited the school to see its brand new kitchen, and worked with the winners of the school's 'Design a Healthy Meal' competition to participate in healthy cooking workshops.

The kitchen allows the school to meet new curriculum requirements with cooking taking on a bigger role in the school timetable.

The school's old mini cooker has been replaced with a brand new electrical ESSE cooker with induction hob, alongside new kitchen units and a fridge freezer.

Due to the hard work and perseverance of governor Jason Collins, all the goods and labour were donated freely by local organisations.

The younger children were challenged to try something different by making beetroot hummus and flatbreads from raw ingredients.

Tim showed children how to make the dishes and emphasised the importance of using fresh local ingredients, sustainable food and healthy diet choices.

The older children had an even greater challenge — they had an hour to prepare a healthy meal for a group of important visitors, including the mayor and mayoress of West Devon, a Hatherleigh Town Council representative and the generous benefactors of the new kitchen.

They prepared fresh vegetable and herb barley risotto and fresh rhubarb compote with locally produced yoghurt.

Four ambassadors gave the visitors a tour of the school and then laid the table for lunch.

Tim Maddams is a chef, food writer and cookery teacher who lives in Devon. Over the course of his career, Tim has worked under such culinary luminaries as Fergus Henderson, Alistair Little, Marco Pierre White and Mark Hix, as well as leading the VIP catering team for the Ferrari F1 team in Europe.

A nagging feeling of unease with the corporate world made Tim yearn for a return to his country roots so he returned to the South West and started work at River Cottage.

This decision led to him regularly featuring on the River Cottage television series, and he now writes for a variety of food publications and has set up his own company, Green Sauce.