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Friday, June 8, 2012

Junior Chef Cookery Workshop


My friend, Aanchal, conducts one-day cooking workshopsregularly and most of them are exotic dishes. I am always amazed at the knowledge she has of the latest trends and knows exactly what the people might be interested. Sometimes its dips/pesto and sometimes mock-tails/cocktails, sometimes infused oils and sometimes herbal salad dressing. 

I asked her, “Where do you learn these?” 

She says that she socializes a lot, visits various restaurants and reads latest cooking literature to keep herself updated.

Well, it’s a hard work then.

This week she invited me to attend the children’s workshop that she would be conducting. The menu for the day was Double Chocs-Chip Cupcakes, Mexicans Mini Pizza, Red Cheesy Pasta and  Ferraro Roche shake 


Since I love the company of kids, I was most eager to attend.

I arrived at the venue when the session was on. All children were dressed in cute personalized aprons and a chef’s hat which were especially bought for them. That set the mood and children took cooking quite seriously, willing to learn some basics of cooking. 


All children were given the typed recipes which they could refer to. As the session progressed, some children made separate notes, adding details and their observations.  

There were about 15 children of ages from 4 year-old to 12 years old.

The session started with cupcakes.


The children learnt to identify each ingredient by taste, touch and smell. 


While they mixed the ingredients they licked their finger each time, each one willing to do their part of mixing and setting, getting hungrier each minute, so much so that they could not wait till it was baked and served. 


And yes! They were too hungry to wait for decorating the cup cakes with confetti and cream……


While they waited for the cup cakes to be baked, they were to learn to make Mexican Pizza.

In group of four, children were led to the kitchen to cook the tomato sauce using ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, salt, sugar, basil leaves, oregano, garlic and baked beans. The pizza bread was toasted in the oven and back came the group to the living room to make his/her own pizza according to his/her own taste, adding assorted veggies like red and yellow capsicum, chili flakes, cheese and olives.


While the pizza baked, it was time to make cheesy Pizza. Aanchal, my friend, demonstrated the boiling method of Pasta, informed them about  the right consistency and the duration of time needed to prepare the pasta, then to mix it in the tomato-onion sauce, add herbs and cheese and bake. 

It was interesting to see the children’s focused interest in this activity. Some of them related to me about their interest and their favorite cookery program on TV. All the kids were aware of the TV program ‘Junior Masterchef’ and had their own favorite cook

The impatience was growing and children were eager to taste, Ferrero Rocher milk shake would have to wait, all children were already seated, waiting to eat, and of course, best part of attending cooking demonstration is that there is always food to taste.


After having their fill, children were ready to make Ferroro Rocher milk shake.


In a batch of four they made their milk shake, mixing Ferroro Rocher chocolate with coffee powder, milk, vanilla ice cream, syrup and condense milk with topping of cream and choco-chips.


No children’s workshop is complete without a game and gifts. 


A customized housie ticket with each child’s name printed on the top of the ticket was distributed. But wait, this wasn’t an ordinary ticket; it had the ingredients that were used during the session, very innovative and carefully organized.

There was a gift for every line and two full houses. 


By the time the session ended, children were charged with energy, they shared notes and phone numbers, they even got one cup cake to take-away to share with their family.

A lot of effort was put behind the scene, because planning a children’s workshop is no child’s game……

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