I have been anticipating the 'big' move to the new building where a better kitchen setup would exist for the students; it has arrived! Now they can slice and dice on counter tops and tables at the right height one should have when prepping. Unlike on the picnic tables we had to use in the old kitchen the new space is perfect.
'This was our Asian 'Noodle' lesson class...'
The students are doing very well. Some of them are more passionate about being in the kitchen, so I let them take some leadership and pair them up. Occasionally we have a new student drop in; they need to get caught up so I can move on to the lessons.
I still smile when some tell me they are allergic to the vegetables. Insisting they try a bite of each thing they find they like it, and begin talking about the foods in a positive way. Some new cheeses have been introduced, and I got a few "Yucks" on the goat and sheeps milk, but over all the meals they create are a success and quickly devoured.
'They really liked using the chopsticks! Only one student gave up on them, and began using a fork...'
Different cooking techniques, ingredients, cultures are being discussed, and that is what I am aiming for. Challenging them to step out of their comfort zones. A few weeks back they had an assignment. We went shopping for their chosen recipes, and they had to go home and prepare the food for their families. I found that reporting back to me they were comfortable with cooking from scratch, and enjoyed the experience.
I am working on getting the greens in as often as they let me get away with it, so far, so good. They are just happy showing off their skills to each other, and are not noticing my sly motherly ways.
'The staff appreciates the buffet line we create each time, and the healthy menu they prepare...'
Good things, good times, and a great job! I love teaching these kids...
"I experiment with Flavors"...
Elizabeth Stelling, hails from her home state of Texas and has been involved in the food industry via institutional, fast food, B&B's, ethnic eateries and other restaurants since she was fourteen. Now living n New Jersey she has ran her own cafe, teaches culinary classes, runs a small boutique catering and staffing business, restaurant consulting for NJWBO, is a personal chef and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients with the community.
Chef E is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as ran Open Mics in the Princeton, NJ area.
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