In preparation for the Art of Cooking benefit on November 1st, the Sylvia Center is collaborating with a roster of talented New York City chefs. Chef Anita Lo, from the former fine-dining favorite Annisa, made a special visit to the final Cooks for Health youth cooking class in Red Hook’s Miccio Community Center. The last recipe of the six week summer class cycle was a delicious vegetable filled quesadilla, bursting with swiss chard, corn, red peppers. Students carefully cut the corn by securing one end of the cob and cutting the kernels off from top to bottom. Red peppers were diced and the cilantro was minced. Students were proud to show off their kitchen skills with a variety of knife techniques, teamwork, preparation, and organization.
Everyone gathered at the table to enjoy their meal together, and to talk about their favorite dish that they make at home. Anita shared with the students that she likes to cook all kinds of food, from many different cuisines, but that she especially likes to cook with what grows in her garden and with what she catches fishing!
After her visit with the youth a Miccio, she made a stop to the Green City Force class at the Red Hook Houses Farm. She was impressed with the urban farm and how big okras were getting. The farm manager explained how she is learning to grow the same vegetables to meet the needs of the many different palates in her community.
Sylvia Center’s programs offer a large spectrum of learning around food – from basic kitchen skills to engaging community members around developing healthier eating habits and raising awareness about local food systems. It was a pleasure to have Chef Anita Lo visit and connect with Sylvia Center’s young chefs.