Kitchen Sage Goes Virtual

How many pounds of pasta does an average Italian eat compared to the average American?  Chef Karen mixes up her culinary training class with fun facts about eating and cooking, and keeps students interested with lots of hands on learning.  And as her students have learned, its okay to have your homework eaten, but preferably not by the dog!

In mid-January, Leslie DeJong, a Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Counselor who works extensively with the area schools in Ionia, checked in to see if Kitchen Sage was able to do a virtual course for a group of students attending Portland High School.  As Leslie further described, the need for this class is to teach basic cooking skills and related independent living skills that can also have implications for employment.  Chef Karen, Director of Kitchen Sage, was more than willing to give this a try, especially since the training component of Kitchen Sage has been on hold over the past year.  

The first class was held on February 18th.  Chef Karen wanted to teach the students the importance of washing hands and good hygiene in the kitchen, so she gave them each four small plastic containers with lids and four potato wedges.  One potato they dropped on the floor for 5 seconds, one they rubbed on their face, on another they placed a hair, and the last they spat on.  The idea was to observe how bacteria grows which provided some very visible and gruesome examples of how bacteria is the number one enemy in the kitchen.

Chef Karen was able to teach the class from the kitchen at Prep Space where Kitchen Sage prepares meals for preschoolers on a daily basis.  On the other end of this virtual class, the lead teacher Brandee and two classroom assistants worked alongside the students.  As Brandee commented: “Some of the students want to work at a restaurant for their job after school so this is perfect for them to see if they will like it and be good at it. It is also giving them lessons to one day possibly live on their own by teaching them how to cook and follow a recipe.

Chef Karen is pleased to see the students always read to learn.  As she notes, job-readiness means being ready to go on-time.  The lead teacher in Portland, Brandee, also noted how much the students look forward to this class.  And why not??  Last week the students made lasagna from scratch, anti-pasto skewers and chocolate cannolis as part of their tour of Italy.  Also weekly there is a traveling trophy that goes to the student who exhibits the best effort on any number of skills related to working in the kitchen.  Chef then awards the trophy with a consumable prize such that the student wins both bragging rights for a week and a sweet tooth.  And the answers to above- 51 and 15.

In mid-January, Leslie DeJong, a Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Counselor who works extensively with the area schools in Ionia, checked in to see if Kitchen Sage was able to do a virtual course for a group of students attending Portland High School.  As Leslie further described, the need for this class is to teach basic cooking skills and related independent living skills that can also have implications for employment.  Chef Karen, Director of Kitchen Sage, was more than willing to give this a try, especially since the training component of Kitchen Sage has been on hold over the past year.  

The first class was held on February 18th.  Chef Karen wanted to teach the students the importance of washing hands and good hygiene in the kitchen, so she gave them each four small plastic containers with lids and four potato wedges.  One potato they dropped on the floor for 5 seconds, one they rubbed on their face, on another they placed a hair, and the last they spat on.  The idea was to observe how bacteria grows which provided some very visible and gruesome examples of how bacteria is the number one enemy in the kitchen.

Chef Karen was able to teach the class from the kitchen at Prep Space where Kitchen Sage prepares meals for preschoolers on a daily basis.  On the other end of this virtual class, the lead teacher Brandee and two classroom assistants worked alongside the students.  As Brandee commented: “Some of the students want to work at a restaurant for their job after school so this is perfect for them to see if they will like it and be good at it. It is also giving them lessons to one day possibly live on their own by teaching them how to cook and follow a recipe.

Chef Karen is pleased to see the students always read to learn.  As she notes, job-readiness means being ready to go on-time.  The lead teacher in Portland, Brandee, also noted how much the students look forward to this class.  And why not??  Last week the students made lasagna from scratch, anti-pasto skewers and chocolate cannolis as part of their tour of Italy.  Also weekly there is a traveling trophy that goes to the student who exhibits the best effort on any number of skills related to working in the kitchen.  Chef then awards the trophy with a consumable prize such that the student wins both bragging rights for a week and a sweet tooth.  And the answers to above- 51 and 15.

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