Neff has teamed up with social issues charity Hubbub and B&Q to launch two community kitchens in Buckinghamshire and Suffolk that can be used for free by people living in those neighbourhoods.
A survey commissioned in August by the German appliance brand found that of 1,012 grandparents in the UK, more than a third of those with a grandchild aged between 16 and 25 didn’t believe their grandchild knew how to cook a meal from scratch.
Almost half (45%) didn’t think their 11- to 15-year-old grandchildren knew how to cook at all.
Aiming to remind people of the joy of cooking together and the importance of passing down family recipes, Neff has teamed up with Hubbub to launch a campaign called #NEFFKitchenLove.
This will see six pairs of grandparents and grandchildren getting cooking lessons in the Neff/B&Q community kitchens from well-known food bloggers and chefs Nicky Corbishley and Jane Sarchet.
Neff is also collecting and collating old family recipes in a digital recipe book hosted on the Neff website at neffkitchenlove.co.uk, available for anyone to share much-loved recipes and for those wanting to gain cooking inspiration themselves.
The initiative aims to revive the art of cooking and the perceived importance of learning to cook, which Neff’s survey found was being gradually eroded through the generations.
The findings showed that almost two-thirds (65%) of grandparents said they learned to cook when they were children and 80% had learned by the time they were in their early 20s or had left home.
But, only 53% then taught their own children to cook, with a further 29% saying they did teach them but not as thoroughly as they were taught. Seventeen per cent admitted not passing on cooking skills to their children at all.
When asked why they thought they couldn’t cook a meal, a quarter said they were too busy with extracurricular activities and one-in-five said the parents were too busy to teach them. Worryingly, 15% said the parents didn’t see cooking as an essential life skill.
With children today more likely to learn to cook at school than at home, over a quarter of grandparents (26%) worry that they will miss out on feeling the connection with previous generations by following family recipes.
Jo Eyers, group marketing manager for Neff, said: “Over half of grandparents told us they want to cook more with their grandchildren, so we’re really excited about what Kitchen Love can achieve in reminding people of the joys of cooking together.
“By harnessing these historic recipes and sharing cooking skills and knowledge, we’re hopeful of reducing food waste as people become more confident creating meals from ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away.”
Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Hubbub, said: “An important focus of #NEFFKitchenLove is to discourage food waste, with food donations being vital to the community kitchens. More than three-quarters of grandparents think youngsters worry too much about ‘best before’ dates and throw out perfectly good food.
“We believe that as they learn the skills needed for a life loving cooking, children will also develop an understanding of the value of food and will be less likely to take it for granted. By learning how to make tasty meals from leftovers, for example, the next generation could help us make huge progress in tackling the seven million tonnes of good food and drink thrown away from UK homes each year.”
Louise Dean, category manager for kitchen appliances at B&Q, said: “We know that kitchens are the hub of a home, and making good homes accessible for everyone is something we’re passionate about at B&Q.
“We’re thrilled to continue our support for our store’s local communities by designing and donating two kitchens as part of this new campaign, helping to create a community space that encourages culinary skills and a lifelong love of cooking.”