With fewer households cooking from scratch these days, kids are often missing even the most basic food preparation skills. Recognizing that knowing how to cook is a life skill that can help lead to healthier choices, the Northeast Georgia Farm to School program has partnered with local chefs to bring that knowledge into the classroom.
Students will have the opportunity to cook with nine different chefs this year as part of the Habersham County Farm to School “Cooking with Chefs” series, a hands-on cooking workshop.
Chef Jamie Allred kicked of the cooking series with teaching the students about local sweet potatoes and how to make a soufflé. The goal of the workshop is to expose students to culinary skills using produce from local farms that they have visited. The students learned knife skills, zesting and peeling, as well as food safety and proper hand washing as they cook along with the chefs.
Barrie Aycock, coordinator of Cook with Chef Farm to School component, stated that engaging youth in the Farm to School project is a critical step. “When students participate in trainings like this, they take ownership of what they create, so it’s more likely that they are going to like it, and it eat. Each student made enough of the Sweet Potato Souffle to take it home and share with their families. They also brought the recipe home so they could make it again with their family.” Get the recipe HERE.
Chef Jamie finds working with students a great resource to show our future where their food comes from and how it is grown. “I enjoy providing the students the hands on experiences and teaching them what goes into preparing fresh food for consumption from washing to chopping and cooking. The end results are satisfying and offer great nourishment for the soul. I think it is also great for students to see and use skills in a trade that could lead them into a career and eventually will be part of their well being as they will know how to cook for themselves fresh food compared to processed” says Chef Jamie.