Camera, action, it’s family time in the kitchen

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James Clode, with daughters Charlotte, 7, Grace, 5, and Abigail, 3... “The best part is the end, when we get to eat,” says Charlotte. Photo by Andrew Finch
James Clode, with daughters Charlotte, 7, Grace, 5, and Abigail, 3… “The best part is the end, when we get to eat,” says Charlotte. Photo by Andrew Finch

KIDS learn so many things through cooking, says teacher James Clode, from communication and teamwork to measuring, basic maths and nutrition, which is why he loves cooking with his three daughters.

James started his YouTube channel, Dad’s Apron, four months ago as something to do with his kids during the school holidays.

“When my wife Claire went back to work, I had the holidays with the kids and I wanted to do some fun activities with them, and to get them in the kitchen,” he says.

“We started cooking together, just little snacks or sweet treats that they could help to make themselves.”

James says his three daughters, Charlotte, seven, Grace, five, and Abigail, three, really enjoy the cooking sessions although he says they’re under no obligation to comply.

James Clode...
James Clode… “It’s not scripted, but we tell the girls beforehand what we’re going to be making.”

“It’s not scripted, but we tell the girls beforehand what we’re going to be making,” he says.

“It’s generally pretty smooth, although there are times when I’ve asked Grace to put in the sugar and she’ll say no. But generally they enjoy getting in there and doing it, and they just do their thing, unless one of them is distracted by a toy or something.

“We don’t force them – one time Charlotte didn’t feel like being on camera and that’s always fine. It’s up to them.”

Claire does the camera work with 10-month-old Heath and creates all the recipes, from Disney’s “Frozen” jelly cups to chocolate brownies, egg and bacon snack baskets and herbie crackers, while James does the editing and leads the cooking on camera.

“We have friends who say they watch the videos and make the recipes every week which is really lovely,” says Claire.

“We also like watching them back and we have a laugh together at the girls’ antics.”

“It’s family time for us, we’re all there together and I think it helps us to stay connected,” says James.

“We chat about life, what’s going on at school and it’s fun to eat the snacks together.”

Dad’s Apron has made around 12 episodes so far and James says they have committed to releasing one every Tuesday.

“It’s amazing how much the girls have changed already since we started, so I also think it will be nice for us to look back on,” says James.

“We use Instagram to share our recipes to the greater community and link to our YouTube channel, so there’s a marketing element that I enjoy. If the opportunity arose and the interest continues to grow we would consider monetising Dad’s Apron but at this stage it’s more for fun.

“Generally it takes us a couple of hours to film it on a Sunday morning, or some weeks we’ll film two episodes at once.”

The girls say they like cooking and seeing themselves on the TV afterwards.

“The best part is the end, when we get to eat,” says Charlotte.

Dad’s Apron channel is on YouTube,  instagram.com/dadsapron/ or facebook.com/dadsapron

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Kathryn Vukovljak
Kathryn Vukovljak is a "CityNews" journalist with a particular interest in homes and gardens.

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