Story by Rachel Gilbank

Breakfast like a king! This may be the advice of an ancient English proverb, but people living in and around Rotherham can do just that on Saturday 30 January when the town hosts its second all-day breakfast extravaganza as part of Farmhouse Breakfast Week.

‘Breakfast at the Ministry’ sees North East farmers joining forces with staff at Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food to not only give people the chance to sample some great breakfast dishes, but also find out how the best ingredients are produced right on their doorstep.

Throughout the day staff in the Ministry of Food will be cooking a range of healthy delicious breakfast dishes for people to try. Using as much local produce as possible they will be producing everything from everyday staples like porridge to weekend specials such as sweetcorn pancakes with lean, grilled bacon. They’ll even show inexperienced cooks how to achieve their perfect breakfast menu, with cooking tips and recipe ideas.

Outside in All Saints Square, there will be fun food and farming displays. Local farmers have picked two breakfast dishes – smoothies and pancakes – and aim to show how the ingredients get from farm to fork. As a result, people will be able to test their knowledge of local farm crops, have a go at grinding their own flour or pressing their own rapeseed oil, before finally seeing those ingredients used in an all-day pancake bar.

Local dairy farmers have also taken up the challenge and will be on hand, complete with two dairy calves, to talk to people about how our daily pint is produced. Having had a chance to milk model cow Annabelle, children and adults alike can then try their hand – or should that be legs – on a special bicycle-powered smoothie maker. This fun invention delivers a healthy breakfast but requires a bit of pedal power.

Alongside the two ‘food chains’ will be the National Farmer Union’s Food and Farming Roadshow, run by keen poet and farmer Johnny Ball and packed with a wealth of information from recipe ideas to games and competitions. For this event it will also host the long-running Porridge Roadshow which features Yorkshire oats combined with a range of local toppings from honey to rhubarb.

The event is being organised by the North East NFU as part of its Why Farming Matters campaign and says NFU regional director Richard Ellison, he hopes this year’s event will prove even more popular. “Our first collaboration with the Ministry of Food last year was very successful, but this year’s event will be bigger and better. There will be even more going on and we hope that children and adults alike will enjoy sampling some great food and meeting the farmers that produce it.

“Research* carried out nationally for Farmhouse Breakfast Week shows that 26% of children nationally think bacon comes from sheep and 17% of both children and adults under the age of 30 believe eggs are a core ingredient of bread. “Results like these remind us how important it is to give children the chance to learn about food from a young age and that’s what this event is designed to do.”

About the Author: Rachel Gilbank works for the National Farmers Union

Read more about Jamie’s Ministry of Food in Rotherham