Description: An exploration of seasonal cooking. Curriculum includes basic preparatory skills, as well as cooking methods and knowledge of ingredients. Emphasis is placed on fresh seasonal ingredients and on minimal processing for optimal flavor and nutritional value. Each class focuses on two recipes, one savory and one sweet. For ease of execution, no recipe contains more than ten ingredients, and many recipes feature child-appropriate activities such as folding and rolling. Knife skills are taught with real knives: paring knives at first, then chef’s knives for older, more adept students. Children take pride in their growing competence and gain heightened responsibility and confidence. Recipes are distributed at the end of class and students are strongly encouraged to prepare them at home. All recipes are easily replicable and affordable.
Goal: Children connect to the joy of eating fresh food by participating actively in its preparation. They learn that they themselves hold the key to their health and can have fun while taking charge of their diet. With their new skills, our students learn to make tasty alternatives to processed food, so that even in a corner deli, they can find some basic ingredients with which to make a healthy snack or meal. Exposure to a wide variety of whole fruits and vegetables opens their palates to a world of new flavors.
In June my 7-year-old daughter attended a cooking class at the Sylvia Center. They used farm fresh ingredients to make pizza, pasta, stuffed zucchini boats and barbeque sauce, not to mention some amazing fruit desserts. My daughter had a blast. Most important, she became aware of all the effort, on many people’s parts, that it takes to prepare great, healthy food. She decided for herself that the rewards made it worth it.