Young budding chefs of the future found out what it was like to choose, prepare and then eat their own meals from one of the country’s top kitchen experts.

James Golding, executive chef of Hampshire-based PIG chain of hotels and restaurants, was on hand to expertly guide children from St. Joseph’s Primary School through the practical stages of creating their own wonderful lunch.

The ‘classes’ took place at The PIG in Brockenhurst in the New Forest.

The year four youngsters enjoyed a practical session from James, focusing on gardening, cooking and front of house activities.

Those taking part were chosen following a competition run with James and the school. The children were tasked to design a three- course menu – using a selection of ingredients from the garden at The PIG. As part of their experience, the children picked their own food from the hotel’s walled garden.

The day was part of a national Adopt a School project, founded by Bournemouth-based chef Sarah Howard and The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. This year’s Adopt a School week was launched at the French embassy.

“This year’s event has been amazing,” said James. “We did a launch at the school and I set them a task to design a menu. They had to look at the local suppliers, sustainability, every aspect of how the food has been grown, out of six groups we whittled it down to three.

“Those who didn’t come today will come in the spring for a tour.

“We learnt about knives and forks, how to eat food and basic table etiquette, and every single kid here ate all of the their food.

The menu included crab cakes for the starters, Romsey farmed gammon as their main, and fruit salad with home-made marshmallows with strawberry ice cream for pud.

“At the end we asked for hands up if they had eaten something today that you wouldn’t have eaten at home and enjoyed it and 90 per cent put their hands up,” said James.

“We want kids to come to an environment like this, sit down and say I wouldn’t probably eat hat at home, but I’ve prepared it, my friends and I’m going to try it.”