Camden Promise

What a feast we had. The students voted to make fastest chicken parm (which isn't so fast when preparing for 18) and roasted carrots, with the new mixed-fruit cobbler for dessert. Ceanni Fernandez deftly cut five pounds of carrots, and not one sliver was left uneaten. Katherine Nunez, Naiomy Rodriguez, and sisters Emily and Jakelyn Hernandez tackled the fruit and found the pears slippery. Joaquin Estevez dedicated himself to chicken prep and everyone took a turn at clean-up. Our guests were most impressed.

- Jane Elkis Berkowitz, Frank Iannuzzi

Roberto Clemente

We have had the best time with this terrific group of kids. They have really enjoyed the experience, as have we. The kids were amazing about trying new foods and doing new tasks around the kitchen.

- Stephanie Lawrence, Ellen Porter

Russell Byers

Another great semester! The cranberry, apple, and pear crisp recipe was filled with surprises, as our student chefs did not expect the soft, sweet, and tart of the fruit to be so tasty. Our last class together featured parent and teacher guests, much discussion about newly learned skills, and which recipes the girls were going to make at home. Yes!

- Cindy Rappaport

La Salle Academy

The children decided on chicken parm and fruit and yogurt parfaits. At this point, they are pros at chopping and measuring. Here are some of their final thoughts on the program: Shaun liked washing the dishes; Cierra Rodriguez liked taking turns with jobs; Giovanny Capulin enjoyed trying new things; Brandon Kelso and Jayden Smuk liked everything about the program (wow!); Sinmi Adegboyega liked sitting down to eat together. What Aliyah Hudnell didn't like was that the program ended.

- Maureen Barrett, Mariann Owens

Philadelphia Montessori, Group 1

How pleased we were to learn today that Kaleem Cooper's mom made last week's broccoli-and-cheese casserole at home, and classmate Andre Slaughter joined them! This week, there were lots of new tastes, including nutmeg and cranberries - Kaleem said he liked the cranberries raw, but not cooked; Andre didn't like them at all. However, both boys gobbled up the finished dessert! - Ilene Miller and Jessica Plank

Hunter

Our last cooking class! How did it go so fast? We decided to make the broccoli-and-cheese casserole. We also had the fruit crumble. The chopping and cutting went so fast. The skills and knowledge our students gained over the last seven weeks was surely on display as we had the broccoli and onion cut in no time and the apples and pears sliced and diced so easily. Our chefs were so excited to show their guests what they had learned and were all smiles when they received their certificates and wooden spoons.

- Kristin Stitz, Dana Srodes

TeamUp Philly/Shepard Rec Center

Fastest chicken parm and roasted green beans and almonds were our overwhelming favorites. The real star of the show, though, was the cranberry, apple, and pear crisp. Everyone loved the flavor - even though the tart cranberries were new to some. Ijanae Harrigan thought it was amazing and told everyone that she couldn't wait to make it for Christmas dinner.

- Elena Levitan and Beth Buckman

Comly School

The big day had arrived! The opportunity to show our families what amazing chefs we have become. The chefs voted on their favorites, chicken parm with salad and vinaigrette. They felt this would go perfectly with the cranberry, apple, and pear crisp.

The chefs knew this was a big endeavor once they started unpacking the ingredients. Thank goodness by now they work together like a well-oiled machine.

The invited guests were thrilled. The chicken parm was even better than the last time – practice makes perfect. Now time to try the never-before-made cranberry, apple, and pear crisp. All eyes were on it as it arrived to the table, still quite warm. The chefs and their guests slowly took the first taste. Delicious! The perfect way to end our eight-week culinary experience!

- Cindy ODonnell Watson, Lorrie Craley

Wissahickon/Awbury

What a busy session! We all enjoyed a hectic time in the kitchen preparing a meal for (what turned out to be) 16 people! We were supposed to have only 10. Fortunately, we made some extra food.

The dishes we made included: broccoli-and-cheese casserole; cranberry, apple, and pear crisp; salad; turkey chorizo quesadillas; and zucchini, cherry tomato, and ricotta pasta. The students made each item with confidence, as the techniques were not new to them.

- Lisa Krader, Linda Todorow

Community Partnership

What we took away from the program was how much the students' confidence increased and, in turn, their kitchen skills improved. By our last class, where we were under time constraints, making panko-crusted cod, roasted carrots, plus a special dessert, they got down to business and all worked so well as a team. They went about chopping, measuring, mixing, and calling, "Hot corner" with aplomb. It was wonderful to witness and what we hoped to achieve. Seeing how excited they were to share their efforts with family members made our hearts sing. We will miss these kids.
- Katie Rhodes, Jill Kaiserman