Chef Darina Allen says cooking skills should be included on the school curriculum.
The author and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School is submitting a petition to Education Minister Norma Foley for practical cooking classes for every child.
She told Newstalk Breakfast it is a life skill everyone needs.
"At the moment I feel we're really failing in our duty of care in many ways to the next generation.
"So many people, even nowadays, almost two generations have left our homes and our schools without being able to cook for themselves - without the basic skills to feed themselves properly."
She says this is reflected on impacts in health and other areas.
"This is sort of a call to arms - and so many mothers, parents, grandparents and everybody really, really agrees with this.
"It's not just younger people but many nowadays who are in highly successful careers - CEO of companies, all sorts of things - have all the skills to run the country, etc but actually some of them can scarcely make toast.
"And during COVID, this became particularly obvious to people; they suddenly realised how de-skilled they had allowed themselves to become".
'A skill we need every day'
She says the ability to cook is part of a rounded education.
"This is a skill that we need every single day: our energy, our vitality, our ability to concentrate - everything stems from the fuel we put in the tank to keep the system going.
"And one of the easiest ways to wean kids off fast food, is to teach them how to cook".
And she says children will learn if they are shown.
"In national schools there could be some simple things, certainly then in secondary schools.
"And I'm talking about boys and girls... it's a life skill.
"But the problem is that the older you start, the more you reckon it's a mystery.
"And they hate cooking because they feel they can't do it - and if we show them a few basic, simple skills they can build on those".