At last, cooking is to be elevated to the level of importance of religious education on the national curriculum. The youth of Britain will have to learn about frying and filleting along with the ten commandments.
Whatever the merits of making cooking compulsory, it fits an interesting pattern. Education ministers just seem to be incapable of stopping themselves from foisting their own interests and hobbies on innocent children.
Ed Balls, schools secretary, is a noted foodie, with a talent for whipping up tex-mex and creole feasts. His signature dish is apparently the soufflé. His spokesman declined to comment on whether this would be a "set dish" on the curriculum.
Other ministers have had less luck injecting their own obsessions into the classroom. Charles Clarke, the former education secretary, once asked his officials to investigate whether chess — yes chess — could be introduced into the curriculum. Understandably, they said "what a good idea", and hid for weeks, hoping that he would forget. A smart move.