Rave Reviews

We have been running the School Holiday Program for a couple of years now… and one thing that always amazes me is the enthusiasm of kids wanting to find out more about food.

But most of all what comes out so strongly in this program is that getting food savvy can be fun… I just love watching you all having a really good time.

We survey participants after each program so we can improve things all the time… After our October 2013 100% of respondents:

Agree or strongly agree:  A cooking session like this helps me learn about food and cooking.

Agree or strongly agree: I enjoy this sort of session and seeing what other kids are doing.

Agree or strongly agree: I will encourage my friends to join the program.

Agree or strongly agree: That my whole family has benefitted from me being on the program.



This is just a snippet of the mail that comes into our mailbox … Hope you enjoy reading these! I do, and it really helps me to plan things for next time. 

Loved this program. Had so much fun cooking for my family. This is the first time I have done any cooking by my self and I loved it. The recipes were easy to follow, ingredients easy to get, and food was yummy. Thank you so much I will be doing this again. Three days was just enough too. Love it.

Liv (Olivia Keith)

Izzy: I cook! 

Ranger: I really liked it, I’ll definitely do it next holidays.

 Mum: The program was fantastic. It really got the kids interested and excited about being in the kitchen. It was a great chance for them to make their own decisions about the food they eat. We will return to the website and look at more of the vides and recipes over the coming months. Also, because we live rurally, this was a chance for the kids to participate in something without having to drive into the city.

Ranger: My favourite was the over the top dinning. I didn’t really like the cleaning up – but it wasn’t as hard as I thought. 

Izzy: Izzy liked everything that got her into the kitchen and allowed to actively cook.

Mum: The challenges were great. It wasn’t possible for kids of this age to do all of them, partly because they only have the attention span for one or two a day, but there were plenty to choose from, and they enjoyed being able to decide themselves what to do next.

Mum: The intensity of the three days was great, and the kids certainly rose to the challenge. However we were lucky that we had nothing else on during those days, or we wouldn’t have been able to participate to the same extent. Perhaps a slightly longer period, including a weekend, would work better for some families – particularly for the younger kids who need more breaks? (Had we had a weekend, we would have gotten Dad to break out the bar-b-que!)

But overall it was fantastic. Thank you!

Ranger and Izzy Leary and Ashurst

We really liked getting all your recipes, they are all fun to try. It would be great if you could include more baking recipes in your ebooks. There was so many challenges and it was great to get involved. We loved taking photos of everything and sharing them with others. We liked the lol challenges and next time you could do something Christmassy if you do one before Christmas. We also really enjoyed doing the smarty arty. It was great to have a food-growing challenge so we can get out in the garden and get dirty! It would be great to have more time online and talking with others. Perhaps getting online 3-4 times daily.

Emily and Sophie McNickle

I wish it could be over a week, I’ll still do some of the challenges that I didn’t get around to it. Next year I’m travelling around nz in the motorhome for the whole year, I’m sure I’ll still be able to participate – looking forward to that challenge. Thought the challenges were awesome and challenging. It’s great to be able to have a go at something new. They were fun.

Brianna Haddock

We loved doing the program – it was well set up. It was good that there were some quick challenges and some longer ones so that we could do what we had time for. We can’t think of anything to improve it- we enjoyed it all. 

Lara and Alex Seaton

I found this a great opportunity for the boys. They like the tasks and had fun learnt some new things. I am sick of doing it all in our house and want to encourage them to be interested to. Matthew recently got a cook book through school and seems keen at the moment may this interest last. He is getting a childrens cook book for his birthday in a few days. 

The cooking helped to full in the day and meant tea was ready on time not like when we are working and I am to tired and rushed to have helpers

Karen Flower (Matthew and Ryan’s mother)

It was awesome and I have had a lot of fun doing it. It was a chance to have heaps of awesome things to do. Plus, there were lots of new things I have found out by using this program about cooking things. I used to not be able to cook anything but now I can a lot of different dishes and they taste great. Thank you

They challenges were extremely awesome. If they weren’t included in the program then I think that a lot of people would not do it. We did eight challenges, the random act of kindness, the laugh out loud challenge, the over the top dinner challenge, the leave it as you found it challenge, the travel the world challenge, the spuds harvest challenge the cheese please challenge, and the smarty arty challenge. My favourite was the leave it as you found it challenge. WE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!!!!(smile)

Luke Amy Reuben Piper

Hi Claire,

Thank you so much for providing such fantastic school holiday entertainment. By the end of the school term both our girls are ready just to stay home and potter for a day or two.

They spent about 5 hours baking on Monday and Gracyn cooked dinner on Tuesday.

When we googled your name and came up with a picture of you in your BC uniform they were extra excited!

You are a fabulous role model and I’m sure you have an exciting future ahead.


Julie Tito ( Mum of Gracyn and Campbell)

I had fun cooking things I wouldn’t normally make. I made a meatloaf on Monday for my family and they said it was so good that I am going to have to make it again! I made cupcakes, savoury scrolls and banana pancakes.

I enjoyed the challenges, but found it hard to upload photos, and I missed out putting everything in for the challenges because I was at my Nanas. 

Next time it would be fun to do it longer maybe?

Joel Price

Hi Claire, 

The program was fun! My girls loved getting involved, they probably didn’t even notice how much they learned along the way! 

The chat room idea is great! The girls enjoyed reading about the other kids and commenting themselves. We tried most of the challenges and it kept them busy when I was working!

We will sign up again, I love the idea that we don’t have to leave the house. 

Thanks Claire.

We thought the program was amazing. We learnt to try new foods and were surprised when we didn’t actually mind them. We learnt some new recipes, all nice and easy for anyone to make. It was great having the videos and also being able to contact Claire if we needed any help. Having the challenges made it even more fun. . Can’t wait for the next one, nor can mum.

Michael & Rebecca Howey

Micheal and Rebecca 

Thank you sososososososososososososo much I really enjoyed the programme I wish I knew about it earlier I will definitely be doing it next term! You have such great ideas, you are such a great cook and you are so bright and happy and cheerful I will definitely treasure the i pod shuffle. YOU ARE SO AMAZING ! ! I had never cooked a roast meal before and now I know how because of the competition and you taught me. Mum and dad will want me to cook dinner all the time now. Thanks again.


Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 9.55.53 PMI liked cooking tea the best, it was heaps of fun


It was the first time Jasmine had done the programme and she wants to do it again, the challenges were great, she learnt heaps, trying lots of new things and her little brothers and sister loved being able to get involved too, thanks heaps,

Jasmine’s Mum

This cooking program was great.

I loved how we could do live chat with people and most of all you:)

If you made up some of the recipes they were GREAT!!!

My most favorite challenge was the beautiful breakfast challenge. I was so fun, but most of all eating the finishing product.

Sophie Sinclair

I made the stylie porridge for breakfast with rolled oats. We had jumbo oats so mum told me to soak them in water the night before. I set the table with a lace tablecloth, picked lavender from a bush outside our 4square and put them in mums favourite little vases for the table. I surprised the whole family with a special breakfast topped with maple syrup, banana and whipped cream. Mum said it was the best porridge she’s ever had and my sister who hates porridge ate hers and liked it!!! AWESOME!!


I loved the holiday programme because it was free and easy to sign up and it had a lot of challenges and it was very fun!!!!!!! :) thank you so much for making it!!!

Savannah Loader

The program was awesome, and I liked the way you put up helpful clips and tips for us to use. I also think the chat box is a good idea, as it helps other children with things they don’t understand. I enjoyed talking to you on the chat box. A suggestion would be to include a box that says “return to challenges  when you have entered a challenge  so you don’t have to go back to the home page and into the challenges box just to enter another. The recipes were very detailed and easy to use. 


Dear Claire,

Thank you for my amazing prize.  I just want to get cooking again now!  Mum says to leave the knife in the packaging because then she won’t be tempted to use it herself hehehe.  Both Mum and Dad are jealous :-)

What a blast!!! I loved my time in the kitchen with Claire and It made me feel important in the house because I was cooking for my family and that is normally a job Mum does and she is important in my life.


Rebecca Forte

Hi Claire,

Thanks again for running the holiday cooking programme.  I really noticed this time how much more competent my children are in the kitchen now.  When we did your first programme, I was very much standing over them with detailed instructions for each step.  This time, I was able to supervise from the background and let them get on with it. Also, because they usually cook for the family once a week now, they have several recipes which they have pretty much memorised.  What great skills they have for the future.

Nga mihi


Hello Claire,

What a fabulous idea it was to run the holiday programme. My kids have really been enjoying it, and the good thing is that it has been lots of fun which has motivated my 7yr old son, who normally loves eating my cooking but hasn’t been that keen to join in, so well done!

One of the challenges has been to do a Random Act of Kindness. We were talking about this yesterday and the kids wanted to do some baking and send it to you as a thank you for doing the programme.

Is it possible for us to get a contact address that we could send a batch of biscuits to you? If not, I completely understand, and the children are happy to do some baking for our old neighbours.

Anyway, well done, we look forward to your next holiday programme, which we will be more organised about, as we only heard about this one via a friend the day before the start and we have had to fit it around other activities.


Leanne, Gemma and Matthew Eagles

Thanks so very much for allowing me to be part f the Jamie Olivers food Revolution.  I am only 10 years old but since the school holiday program with Claire, I am totally hooked on cooking! It always taste better when I cook it! hehe



From a Grandfather and Chef, Thank you for your “It’s my turn to cook” as 3 of my Grandson’s enjoy the challenge, the shopping and the cooking which gives us all so much as we sit around the table enjoying their cooking but also the chance to discuss what they have got out of the experience, apart from a great feed!

Once again Thank you, keep up the good work and it was a pleasure meeting you and Glenda over the weekend.

Trev Hawkins

Fantastic program – thanks so much. My son (9) cooked up a storm using mainly your recipes and he did a fantastic job. My son loved seeing his photo in the collage


I have used this website for my students as a holiday project and it has been really helpful in giving them a starting point as to their holiday project which was to cook a meal for their family.

Dear Claire and Bosch

Winner RebeccaI just wanted to say THANK YOU so very much for the wonderful School Holiday Program.  It was even better because I actually won something (My first thing EVER!).  I will be whizzing my way around the kitchen with my new Bosch Hand Blender in no time.

My BFF might be doing it next holidays too.

Lots of love

Rebecca Forte

Hi Claire,

Our kids have been cooking up a storm these past two days and just loving it.  I think we missed the “over the top table setting” challenge, but my daughter spent so much time putting this power point together (after cooking the dinner the night before!) so I had to send it in anyway. It is also in the “new foods” category as Cassia doesn’t like to try new foods, and nachos were something new for her to cook and eat!

We had the most lovely, calm, and delightful dinner Monday night. Alethea researched online how to set a table “properly” and she carried it out so well! The combination of the amazing, yummy food and the calm and gorgeous table setting made such an amazing atmosphere we are still talking about it and bragging about our children!

Thanks for doing this school holiday program — this is our second time doing it with the 4 kids in our family, and we look forward to it now. The kids re-made those dinners that we learned the first time again and again.

Kind Regards,

Jennifer Salmon & Alethea, Cassia, and Emmet, and Sarah Ruiz 


I can’t Thank You enough, I joined the kids in your program because my son has an interest in becoming a Chef one day and I wanted him to explore this interest as well as allowing them both the opportunity to gain confidence while working in the kitchen, but I never thought in a millions years the program would be a bonding experience for them.

My children have grown so close together in the last week. My hubby and I both work so they have been at it all alone (with your and your videos help of course) It has been so awesome to get home in the afternoons and hear all the stories of what they have been up to and see them laugh and giggle together. Usually the last week consists of lots of teenage bickering from boredom, but this holiday they are closer than ever.

The Bosch School Holiday Cooking Program is ingenious, and hope you’ll be doing it again next holiday, for all those that missed out and us that want to do it again.

My hubby and I have felt so spoilt this week coming home to cooked diner and enjoyed bragging at work about the gorgeous meals, diner parties and fun we’ve had so far.

Thank You, you have given them great confidence in the kitchen and an all important life skill, with the terrific added bonus of bonding with each other.

May you be Richly blessed in all your ventures
Wendy Campbell

Amy & Nina are soooooo excited after being successful in the video making comp. Phew… I was only too excited that I managed to download it! Amy also spent a bit of time working on her poem so is so happy that you posted hers with ‘highly commended’. They are staying at their Nana’s tonight & guess what, they are cooking dinner! They are making chicken wrapped in bacon followed by fruit salad in jelly. No doubt you will hear about it tomorrow. This is turning out to be such a fantastic week. All the hours that you must have put into designing this programme is surely paying off. We are really impressed with how so many kids are getting on board. Claire, you are amazing!!!”

Julie Miedema

This week has been great I have learnt to cook by myself.

Monday: I found the berry nice cupcakes a teeny bit hard but I did finish them they worked great my mum loved the honey roasted veggies & beef salad I would make it again

Tuesday: my theme was a taste of England I made bangers and mash pile-up with stir –fry and a apple crumble I had lots of fun peeling the stir – fry for the banners and mash I found it easy to make apple crumble

Wednesday: I made a very yummy butter chicken my family loved it so much it was like boil the rice put the chicken in bam done – the make a movie was fun.

Thursday: I made my mums 5 minute chocolate cake it was easy I put the things I need it in a bowl then done just like that. One of the days when it was cooking I went on a bike ride to make the time go fast it worked

When I made the cupcakes the person who I gave them to said they are better than ones in the cupcake store and see said they look like I buyed them from the shops

I liked doing it because it got be away from the TV and do something I love I would love to do it again I would ask friends if they want to do it too I have learnt to never give up and that I can do what I believe and never back down at all. Amanda (10)

Thank you so much for your amazing initiative at creating this wonderful program. We have had an absolute blast this week!! I asked Sarah last night what was her most favourite thing that we did these holidays and she replied ” the cooking competitions of course ” !!I hope that enthusiasm continues…..

As a parent I was really impressed at the flowon effects… Xanthe ( 3 ) picking flowers first thing in the morning ” to set the table to make it really pretty and give Dad a big surprise when he comes home from work ” ( for days after the ‘ overthetoptable challenge ‘ )

The flexibility has worked well. We would most definitely take part in your program again. One of the most noticeable practical benefits I observed was Angus and Sarah keeping busy ‘ creatively ‘ and ‘ working together. A big holiday challenge for parents is siblings spending extended time together (and enjoying each others company? )!!

Angus and Sarah in fact did a ‘ Kiwisports ‘ program in the mornings ( 5 minutes away ) where they both tried up to 3 different sports each day. The challenge complimented the ‘ cooking challenges ‘.

We cooked Butter chicken with raita and dipping breads; Cottage pie and apple crumble ( cottage pie lasted 2 nights but not the crumble ); vegetable pie; stir fry veges; baked potatoes and smoothies ( did try and enter competition by 2 pm but computer wouldn’t transfer photos ). Angus even made another backed potato later in the afternoon for a ‘ snack ‘ !

Your cookbook is still on the bench for inspiration and I hope it remains there!!

I can’t thank you enough.

Best wishes for all your future adventures,
Sue ( Mcdougall family,)

It’s been another yummy day.
Thank you so much for running this program – learning these skills is life changing and Claire you are an inspiration to my girls.
Kind Regards
Fiona Simpson

Jane was not too enthusiastic when I suggested we do the program, but now she is giving 100%. Jane takes cooking beyond the Holiday Program – she asked me if I would agree for her to cook family dinner once a week on regular basis. We decided that Friday will be ‘Jane’s Turn to cook tonight’.

So again, HUGE thank you for putting this program together, for the wonderful cook book and other resources. Glenda, your “Love life food kids” is on my Christmas shopping list as a gift for three of my friends – wonderfuly inspirational book.

Kind regards
Magda Smolira from Auckland – Jane’s mum

Thanks for a fun week – we learned a lot and had a great time doing it! Zac and Tobi

I’m having so much fun doing all these challenges….Its cool that you guys have so much cool stuff to give away, but just participating and seeing everyones ideas makes it totally worth it! Naomi (15)

We have proved categorically that becoming food savvy can be fun and that our online cooking program is an awesome way to motivate children of all ages.

Kind regards

Glenda and Claire Gourley

P.S Below are summary videos of the past programs!





Have a peek at the video and see what the kids get up to!

Participation totally exceeds expectations!

Kids from a huge age range (5 – 16 ) join in, we have mums, dads, grandparents and caregivers all having fun with their kids. We also have a lot of kids who are over 14 who join in by themselves interacting with Claire, and others who get a friend over and happily cook and do the challenges together! The flexibility of the program is excellent so you can tailor it to your children .

The programs turn out to be really good not just for the kids doing it, but also their family and friends. (See what some of the parents said below!!) We are continually touched and humbled by the feedback.

And here is a snippet of our October Program – it was fantastic!

And this is how our Day in December went…




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