As I've shared previously, this year I've had the exciting opportunity to work as a chef instructor for the non-profit organization Common Threads. You might have heard of this wonderful charity when Art Smith competed on Top Chef Masters, or maybe you saw an article in People magazine a couple years ago. The organization works to bring kids together to connect over a good meal, and to learn about cooking, nutrition, and different cultures. The kids are just amazing, and I've had a lot of fun connecting with them over our shared interest in cooking great food. It's impressive how these 8-12 year old kids can cook!
The last three weeks I co-taught field trip classes, where two groups of kids from opposite parts of the city came together for a special class. We learned about food and culture from Papua New Guinea, an island near Australia where many different tribes live together. The third class, last Friday, was the last class of the semester, which meant there were a lot of extra people in the kitchen.
Common Threads is working on a documentary to share with our leaders in Washington, D.C., to encourage more support and legislation for keeping kids healthy. Our local NBC station was filming for a segment about what we're teaching kids, too. This meant two cameras on me as I instructed the kids... talk about nerve wracking! That was only the beginning, though. We also had Bill Kim, the chef I love from Urban Belly, instructing the kids on some of the recipes. Additionally, three professional athletes from the Chicago Bears and Fire (soccer) came to cook with the kids. The extra 5,000,000 adults in the room made things a little crazy, but I was able to just relax and have fun with it! This is saying a lot for my type-A, control freak personality :) It was such a fun day, and I know the kids won't forget it for a long time!
If you want to learn more about Common Threads, check out their web site, or ask me for details. What a worthy cause to support!