I've hosted many of cooking classes at Chuck's, but none quite as special as these two. It was a great honor to instruct these eager, young students. I loved seeing their light bulbs come on.
We started the store tour in the beautiful produce department:
- I discussed the different types of greens (Kale, Swiss Chard, Greens, Spinach, etc.)
- The countless varieties of apples -- we live in the Apple State after all
- Potatoes (aren't bad it's all the stuff we put on them)
- Shallots versus onions
- The slight difference between sweet potatoes and yams
- Advising them to say no to convenient bagged lettuce, carrots, and bottled citrus juice
and opt for the fresh varieties
Bonus: The produce gals gave the students samples (Kiwi berries, Hidden Rose Apples, and Sprouted Almonds).
Next, we quickly toured the dairy, meat, bread, and deli sections. Our tour ended in the bulk section -- Discovering how we could buy a little or a lot of honey, grind our own nut butters, and what dishes we could create with the endless grains, beans, nuts, and spices.
Then back to the classroom for the real fun. I loved seeing the students look on in awe as I pulsed and processed the dates to make the Cashew Whole Food Energy Bars. "Yes, it's that simple," I said. Watching Kate swing her crossed leg back and forth in sheer delight as she enjoyed the freshly roasted Brussels Sprouts. Naomi and Kate going back to scoop up the last few Kale Chips. The look of anticipation as I layered The Mexican Rice Bowl (my version of Chipotle's burrito in a bowl) with all the goods and finishing it with a fresh squeeze of lime. Bam! As Emeril would say.
At the beginning of each class, I told the students, "You can do this. I'm confident". I also gave them a few things I wanted them to take away from their time with me:
- Everything in a prepared food box can be made from scratch using whole, natural ingredients.
- How simple and fun it is to cook.
- We don't have to eat OUTSIDE of the Box all the time, but most of the time.
Chuck's Produce & Street Market -- Thank you so much for graciously opening your doors to the students. An extra-special thanks to Angee Murray for getting us on the schedule and for everything else.
I'm looking forward to making more delicious memories and helping 50 more Clark College "Food and Your Health" students step OUTSIDE of the box, next Friday, November 16. Until then...here's some photos from the first classes.