Appetite for excellence

WORLD ON A PLATE. PSS Toy Library and Family Resource Centre, Liverpool

Caribbean fruit salad, Irish soda bread, spinach and cheese byrek from Kosovo were just some of the recipes created, cooked and eaten by a group of Liverpool children with disabilities or chronic illnesses as part of a project to create an international cookbook.

Around 60 children and their families, all members of the PSS Toy Library and Family Resource Centre in the heart of Liverpool, worked with local farmers and chefs, digging pumpkins, onions, carrots and swedes, preparing and cooking ingredients for recipes from five of the city's communities: China, Ireland, Jamaica, Kosovo and Yemen.

The intention, says artist and nutritionist Clare Owens from the arts organisation Squash Nutrition which co-ordinated the project, was to create an outsize cookbook for toy library members to borrow, and at the same time consider healthy eating and make cooking fun.

Children and adults took pictures, recorded interviews with the farmers and chefs, and made artwork for the finished laminated book. She explains: "We had one boy who was fascinated by every bit of the process of making soda bread: he kneaded it, he wanted to watch it coming out of the oven, he decorated the recipe with sponged shamrocks. He made an enormous amount of noise just with excitement."

The project ended with a party where all the dishes were served. "We recognise these aren't the only communities in Liverpool and we're really hoping to do the next mouthful soon," said Clare Owens.

For details of how to get a copy of the World on a Plate cookbook, email

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