CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has turned 1000 Ipswich cooking novices into culinary competents since opening his Ministry of Food.
The milestone was reached yesterday when Tivoli resident Kate Bowers finished her course.
The 82-year-old said she had transformed her approach to cooking since beginning the 10-week course.
"I used to cook casseroles or soup … freeze them and take a meal out on another night," she said. "I have learnt new skills and it's renewed my interest in cooking meals with fresh vegetables rather than cooking frozen meals or eating out."
Mrs Bowers said the class had reinvigorated her love of cooking.
"At my age, because I don't cook for a family any more I lost my interest in cooking and I thought it would be a way to refresh my skills and it's been a sheer pleasure," she said.
Centre manager Darren Foxcroft said the classes encouraged cooking with fresh fruit and vegetables.
"We get a lot of positive feedback and a lot of people wanting to do a second course," he said. "People may not have learnt the skills from their parents.
"When they can see what we can do, especially with a green Thai chicken curry from scratch, it makes it a whole lot easier."
- Jamie's Ministry of Food's most popular dish is a green Thai chicken curry.
- Favourite dessert is a pear lime and ginger crumble.
- Jamie's Ministry of Food opened in April 2011.