Day One! (Sunday)
The excitement and curiosity in everyone’s faces made for the perfect start to the day! We started off introducing ourselves with names and favorite foods before diving in to make butternut squash gnocchi with Sprouts’ very own Chef-in-Training, Christina! First we learned and reviewed our knife skills, how to keep a clean and safe kitchen, and how to respect our fellow chefs and friends in our work space…all essentials to a day in the life of any chef!
We then learned why it is important to buy our food from local farmer’s markets and about the importance of seasonality in our cooking, which all helped to explain why we were cooking a winter squash that day! Next, we peeled, chopped, diced, and seasoned our butternut squash (one heck of a task for little chefs’ hands as you probably know – one which they executed safely and beautifully!) and left it to roast while we moved to the core part of our meal.
Chef Christina taught us how to peel boiled potatoes in order to prepare the gnocchi dough to which we added all the remaining ingredients and kneaded until it was ready to roll out and cut into the final product! Once each ball of dough was rolled out, cut and, shaped we dropped them in water to watch gnocchi magic happen! It was so fun to watch the individual gnocchi float up to the surface. Once they were done, we sautéed them with olive oil and rosemary and finally plated our masterpiece! This all called for a well-deserved break and time to eat!
After we took a break to get some fresh air, move our bodies and play some games, we returned to the kitchen and to chef mode. Then our very own Sprouts chef, Adriana, taught us how to cook a candied orange olive oil cake!
To do so we started by thinly slicing our oranges before preparing to candy them and make our syrup with cardamom and agave in boiling water! Chef Adriana taught us what ingredients like baking soda and powder actually do when mixed into cake batter. We also learned that it was especially important for this recipe to break down the ingredients in order to achieve the fluffiest batter and cake! After waiting for the cake to bake and rise we took it out of the oven and poured over our syrup to achieve the spongy texture of a true olive oil cake. Finally, we split into groups to decorate each cake with our candied oranges and more syrup, and sliced it to eat!! Wow, what an incredibly rewarding process, we all thought!
We had the most wonderful day learning, creating, and tasting new things that we hope your kids will try at home! It was incredible to see your aspiring chefs work together to cook such delicious dishes and share the process and final product so nicely with each other!