The chef was great. I am assigned with Stephen Lyle of Village. He brought in different types of spices for the kids to taste and showed them how to blend it with different ingredients to make more complex tastes. He also brought in different foods that the kids don't normally eat. I was surprised how many kids liked caperberries. Just wanted to let you know how much fun it was. I can't wait for next week. We are going to the farmers market to let the kids find out first hand about how and where we get fresh and wonderful foods.
till next week,
Tues went great. I was so nervous (turned out that i was chef-less), but once the class started, it just flowed. I kept the lesson plan with me to refer to it when i got lost. Brought lots of samples for kids to try...they loved all the fresh herbs, smelling them, tasting them...kids were so receptive...I was surprised at how savvy kids were, too (question: can anyone name something sour? answer: green grapes, green apples).
And before i knew it, it was 10:30am (we started at 8:40).
We had our first session today, and it was great. David Pasternack was fantastic, eschewing the tasting materials included in the supply kit for foods he brought himself:
Sweet: yellow beets, 25 year-old balsamic vinegar, honey
Bitter: bittersweet chocolate, parsley
Salty: sea salt, capers
Sour: lemon thyme, olives, olive oil
And he was excellent in presenting the material to the kids in an engaging and personal way.
I have attached some photos of our visit to David Pasternack's restaurant Esca. David showed the kids lots of different edible sea creatures then passed out plates of spaghetti with shrimp for all to sample.
Just a quick update on days of taste. Day two went off without a hitch. They all flipped over the chefs hats, they loved decorating them.
The farmer representative was slightly late, so we improvised and i spoke about where we get our food from specifically. The farmer brought about ten different tyoe of appples along with pictures of farms. The kids loved it. it was a huge hit.
our meeting at the penisula is scheduled for Nov. 16th around 10 am. I doubt its a possibility that you could make it , but youre more than welcome as you know.
Looking forward to week 3. Be well.
The Peninsula Hotel
Thanks so much for the honor and privilege to be part of Days of Taste fall 2004.
Liz thanks for your assistance with setting up our ballroom and for being so gracious sharing your knowledge with these new culinary talents from p.s.163.
Prof. Jordan it was so cool for us to have you here at Gracie Mansion, as a founder of Days of Taste, honoring us with your presence.
Lynda, gracias for signing me up to be your partner at Days of Taste fall 2004. Moreover for your dedication, support and guidance in helping me with the logistic if this great experience with class 304 at p.s. 163.
Cheers to our friendship.
Office of the Mayor
Perla Wander was having so much fun and she and Fili just loved each other!
Eileen was incredibly sweet and you wouldn't even know she was there until Fili decided she had to be involved as well.....
Fili and I took Reem through the stalls in the market before we went to the school. She learned more than the kids! She was blown away by yellow tomatoes and fresh herbs!!!
We also found a great farmer who will chat with the children next week and will have a mini-pumpkin for each one of them. Fili insisted he come to Gracie when the kids were coming, so we will see if he has the time to leave his stall...
Needless to say I had a blast. It was a fantastic experience for all! We spent some time going over logistics for Gracie Mansion event which the staff at the "house" are very excited about. I suggested to Fili that we take an additional three students with us to set the dining room and work with the kids on doing their own place settings for their luncheon and having some gifts for them when they leave. They will also decorate their individual chef hats to wear when they go to Gracie Mansion. Fili is working on his side to invite key people? to the event, as well. He also mentioned that he is working with Micheal Lomanco and Jacques Torres for a fund-raising event at Gracie Mansion. What an interesting job?
Will tell you more next week......
Another incredible week with the kids and the big kids too!
Chef Fili and Luigis are all set for next week. Luigis will go to Gracie Mansion in the morning to do all of the prep work for the Harvest salad with Chef! Luigis is so excited and I know that he will be successful since he is a student of the fabulous Professor Schaible. He is so eager to learn and what a great opportunity for him to work with Chef Fili. I know that Chef Fili will take him under his wing.
Reem is incredible with the children who have latched on to her, literally! We had three official little secretaries who were taking notes for each team so that they could discuss all they had seen during the visit to the market. Reem helped with spelling and note-taking. Yes,we did buy Reem her own yellow tomato to try tonight, once I convinced her it was definitely safe to eat. I have a feeling she will spending money at the market next week.This is an incredible experience for her as a Freshman. Just imagine when she is a senior.
The rep from the Columbus Greenmarket was Nelly Killian who gave the children an overview of the market and explained what was in season in the market. When she showed the class a Jonathan apple they all got really excited because one of them is Jonathan !
Our Farmer (Ray Bradley)
What a great guy! Wait till you see the photos! He was so wonderful with the children. He explained to them what a typical day was like for him,(2:30 am wake-up call) So you could just imagine all of their faces! He told them all about his 27 acre farm in New Paltz and introduced them to wonderful concepts like organic and sustainable agriculture. He even had one his own customers hold up celery root and asked the customer to tell the class how he cooked with it by putting it in his mashed potatoes. He reviewed so much with them and really quizzed them on their knowledge. He let them pull out sunflower seeds from sunflowers he was drying.
Chef Fili had them smell , touch and taste many herbs and gave them all some garlic chives and showed them all of the produce while chatting about what ingredients they would put in their salads for next week. Just so much learning having so much fun! What a great concept!
Farmer Ray is their new best friend !
Chef Fili arranged with Ray for each of them to receive a Jack-be-Little pumpkin. Oh! and how happy they were.....
So they are very excited that next week they will develop their salads. Chef Fili will pick a winning salad next week and it will be featured on the menu at Gracie Mansion on the 29th of October.
I am sure that I have left out so much, but with Eileen's pictures you will really share the experience.
Speak with you next week,
Well . . . I am trying to let my chef really lead on this one. He and I are speaking later today, but I think he is in good shape. I never filled you in on the harvest salad class. I think it was really the best by far. The kids really tried to use the vocabulary to describe things (of course I got the requisite "nasty"s and "ewws"). Jura was out sick, but it really didn't matter.
Rather than giving each group a salad to make (which Julian and I thought would cause total bedlam), Julian made the salad at the front of the class with rotating assistants. I went into the idea of the harvest with them, why we eat together, what the celebration of a meal was about (from PB&J in the school yard with friend to a large family gathering). I focused a lot on the idea of sharing, interdependence and how the food we eat relies on many people (referring back to last weeks class). Riffing on the sharing theme, I divided each desk group up into table setters, servers and bussers. We served the entire room and I asked them to sit and not touch their salad until everyone was served. Once everyone was served, we went around the room tasting individual components separately (goat cheese, pumpkin, beet, ++) and then we tasted the salad. I asked the students to compare the tastes alone and in combination. As you can imagine, goat cheese on its own was unpopular. But in the salad, while I don;t think they could identify it, they really liked it.
We then prepped them for the visit to Brasserie 8 1/2 and I gave them a taste journal assignment. I asked the class to keep track of interesting tastes and meals they have--try to do it once a week. I told them that I would be back in March and again around graduation and they all seemed to get a charge out of that (4th graders can be good for the ego ;-) !!) .
That's the long and the short of it. It's not the strict letter of the law as laid down in the manual, but I do think I am conveying the material and getting the spirit of it across. I think the reasons behind any deviation are split between given circumstances (e.g. my "farmer" and what he brought in) and my own interpretation.
Hope all is well.