Russell Byers Charter School

"Mmm, oh, my goodness, I never thought it would taste like heaven," Kayla Biviens enthused. The sounds of satisfaction were heard around the table as our meal was devoured by all. Even the carrot-haters declared these roasted carrots sweet and delicious.

- Cindy Rappoport

TeamUp Philly/ Shepard Rec Center

Bibeta "B.B." Nana and her mom arrived with stories about how B.B. was so excited to cook one of her favorite MDK recipes for Thanksgiving but was having a hard time deciding which one.

This week, the cod was not familiar and was met with trepidation. At first, the students were warily poking at their dinners. After a few bites, however, they all declared the dish a success. "When you first taste it, it tastes weird, but then it tastes delicious," said Daniyah Eskridge. The students were amazed by the intense and different lemony flavor from using just the zest.

- Elena Levitan and Beth Buckman

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Cod was a first for many of our students but it was certainly devoured by all. It was "meaty" and so satisfying. The panko crust really kept the fish moist. We added some Brussels sprouts to our roasted carrots for some added flavor. We also added a quinoa and lentil salad to the mix, with chopped scallions, lime zest, garlic, and a simple vinaigrette. We have adventurous eaters with such interest in food and preparation. We haven't heard any protesting or "yucks" at all. I'm sad to see we only have two classes left.

- Stacey Polsky

Community Partnership

The verdict was unanimous: No one liked the cod - they loved it. "This is a 10!" exclaimed Amir Clinton. Before our meal, not one student even knew what cod was. "I am definitely making this meal for my family," declared Jordan Laws. She thought it was the best cooking class ever. The kids got a kick out of learning that eating fish can improve brain function (make them smarter). This simple, healthy meal may likely be our family meal for the last week.

- Katie Rhodes

Roberto Clemente

The fish was met with some held noses, but Ameena Long was brave and stepped forward to portion the fillets. And when it was done, she said: "Today's recipe was unusual to me. I liked the fish, but I didn't like the lemon juice. The vegetables were great."

Niya Williams said she'd love to make it again, saying she thought it was "really good." Stefany Rivera didn't like the chewiness of the fish, but liked the carrots, cauliflower, and turnips we roasted.

- Maddy Booth, Sharon Ward

Philadelphia Montessori, Session 1

Today's meal was easy to prepare and really showed off the knife skills the kids have acquired. They had to peel and chop 15 carrots and they handled it like pros. Everybody liked tasting the parsley (it was sweet) and liked how it smelled. They loved the carrots, but the fish got mixed reviews. Nakiya Fant-Salley was excited to taste it, but didn't like it. Andre Slaughter and Kaleem Cooper argued over who would take home the leftover piece.

- Ilene Miller and Jessica Plank


"What are fill-its?" asked Christopher Fashina Daniels. We explained that you can cook a fish whole or just the meaty part - the fillet - without its skin and bones. When the cod first came out of the oven, Raven Davies noticed that "it looks kind of like the chicken Parmesan we made before." She thought the carrots (and the roasted Brussels sprouts we added) tasted "amazing."

- Lisa Krader and Linda Todorow

La Salle Academy

Aliyah Hudnell serenaded us with her beautiful voice while we waited for the fish and carrots. We talked about how fish is high in protein, low in fat, and helps boost brain development. Nearly everyone enjoyed it. Simni Adegboyega called the cod "food for the mind."

- Maureen Barrett and Mariann Owens

Sacred Heart

"Seven times! Agh, really?" That was the reaction when we shared with our students the research that says people may need to try a new food seven times to develop a taste for it. But last week, we beat all records: The carrots in the pea soup were nearly unanimously left in the bowls. Today, they were devoured with gusto.

- Ruth Biemer and Sylvia Wilson