More than 10 years ago Sally Brown and Kate Morris decided to take on the task of not only teaching children under the age of five to cook, but proving to all non-believers that this was possible.

Their cooking school, The Purple Kitchen, was a huge success and they went on to create a children’s cooking show for CBeebies, I Can Cook, which is now broadcast in more than 150 countries.

The idea came to Sally before she and Kate met. She explains: “I had a lightbulb moment, it sounds a bit corny, I was cooking one day in the kitchen and I was making tea and my eldest who was only two-and-a-half at the time, she pulled a chair up and joined me.

“I suddenly thought ‘that’s interesting, you can teach your child to learn to ride, to play the piano, but if you didn’t know how to cook where could you go or could your child learn’ and I thought ‘that’s what I need to be doing’.

Luckily for them their husbands got chatting at a party and when the conversation turned to talking about their wives it was clear they needed to be introduced.

“As soon as we met we knew immediately that we had the same vision,” Sally explains. “It was immediately a partnership I was very keen to forge. We got together in May 2003 and planned everything from my kitchen table.

“We set up a business plan that was completely unique in that nobody until that time had ever taught the under-fives how to cook.”

Kate interjects, almost finishing off Sally’s train of thought: “In a progressive, fun, scheduled way. Not chucking flour around. The idea was it was a ten-week programme so it was designed to progress children through. We then had to keep inventing new things because people kept coming back.”

For Kate the idea that children can cook from a very young age was never something to be questioned.

“I remember getting pulled out from hiding behind the sofa from Doctor Who and making tea, it was just something that happened. I didn’t have any fear of it and when my first child was born as soon as she could stand up I’d made cheese scones with her.

“I had a friend to visit and we made cheese scones with her daughter as well and my friend looked at me and said ‘what are you doing?’ They weren’t even two then and it dawned on me that people just weren’t cooking with children.”

Sally did not start quite as young, but had very much the same feeling.

“I grew up in my father’s restaurant. He had several restaurants in Guildford, Epsom and Surrey and I grew up there and absolutely loved it. I would be doing the dishwasher there on a Saturday and then waiting at tables very soon after that. I just fell in love with the whole food business.

“It was very much part of my family background, my mother always cooked from scratch and we always had family meals, they were the most important part of the day. It was really something that I spent a lot of time enjoying. Always entertaining and having a lot of people over.

They now have The Purple Kitchen, their CBeebies cooking show and they specialise in working with schools to implement the Schools Food Plan, which made cooking part of the curriculum for Key Stages One to Three.

This work led them to produce a new book, The World In My Kitchen. Kate explains: “Although food is in the national curriculum it’s not given any specific time, when teachers are struggling to get food in they can link it with another curriculum area and borrow the time, from geography or from history. That engages children in a way they perhaps they wouldn’t have thought of.”

Sally adds: “The idea with the book is that you can jump into it and create an atmosphere of that country in your home. For example, because of the Olympics this year we included Brazil, but it’s also about recreating a bit of Rio in your own home – you can put music on from Brazil, you can dress up in terms of colours and ideas of national costume, you can recreate the recipe with ingredients accessible from the local supermarkets. You can immerse yourself in a new atmosphere.

For more information on Purple Kitchen, the book or for your school visit:

The book is now available online and from Gerrards Cross Bookshop, 12a Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross, SL9 7QE. Details: 01753 885429,