The Prince of Wales gladly took the bait when asked to handle a live lobster at a cookery demonstration.

Charles inspected the crustacean at an event celebrating local food and drink in the grounds of Dumfries House in East Ayrshire.

He met suppliers including Claire Pieroni of fish merchants J Pieroni & Sons, who asked him if he wanted to hold a live lobster.

Ms Pieroni said: "You could tell he loved seafood and I was surprised when he lifted the live lobster up to have a look.

"He avoided touching the crab though, I would have hated him to be bitten by it."

The Taste Ayrshire event saw Ralph Porciani, head chef at the Turnberry Resort, perform a cookery demonstration using fresh produce from the grounds of the 18th century home.

Students from 13 of the region's secondary schools also took part in a cookery challenge after being asked to come up with a recipe using local ingredients, including a chocolate mint herb found in Dumfries House's garden.

The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known in Scotland, looked on as Brandon Patton and Rebecca Steele from Doon Academy in Ayr prepared flash-fried prawns.

Brandon said: "The Prince suggested we add pepper to the pan to spice up the prawns.

"He was very interested in where we got our ingredients and I could tell he liked cooking."

Home economics teacher Aileen Emerson of Belmont Academy in Ayr also spoke to Charles.

"He was asking about the number of home economics teachers in Scotland and we agreed there was a demand for them," she said.

"He seemed genuinely interested and agreed that teaching children about where ingredients come from and broadening their menu to new foods and tastes was an important part of education."

The Pierburg Centre and Education Garden was established at Dumfries House in June 2013 and promotes food education to pupils from Ayrshire and Scotland's central belt.

Children can plant, harvest and prepare vegetables and learn about soil, fertilisers and how the weather affects gardens and planting.

The estate also hosts the Belling Hospitality Centre where young people are given the chance to experience working in a kitchen and front of house.