Students get cooking in workshop (video)
Aug. 2, 2012 at 3:02 a.m.
The aroma of garlic wafted through the Trinity Episcopal Parish Hall Cafeteria.
Its pungency tickled the nostrils of the budding chefs, putting their stake into the beef-tip dish.
Some were culinary novices, while others, such as Tara Swor, wanted to sharpen their skills.
"I kinda already know how to bake," she said. "I'm learning how to make things easier."
The confident 9-year-old from Terryville participated in the first "It's a Kid's Kitchen" summer workshop hosted by Erica Briggs.
Sixteen students from the Crossroads participated in the four-day workshop, which began Monday and concluded Thursday, to learn about nutrition, measurements, safety and healthy competition.
Students also baked desserts, learned from celebrity chefs and created their own restaurant businesses.
Each participant received a hat, apron and instructional book as a keepsake.
"It's so important that they know how to respect the knife and the kitchen," Briggs said.
The event organizer is grateful that students took such interest in the classes, but she cordially brought them back to reality.
"Some of the students wanted to make filet mignon, but I told them we're on a budget," Briggs said.
The workshop at the school wasn't just a learning ground for the students.
"Sometimes the adults have to learn, too," said Betty Jo Elder, an adult volunteer.
The grandmother of eight took pleasure watching the exploring young minds at work in the kitchen.
Kyle Henke, 11, said his favorite part of the workshop was being able to eat while cooking.
Although, he's a young man who indulges in hamburgers and steaks, he especially liked making the apple crisps.
The incoming sixth-grader said he plans to help his mother more in the kitchen because he appreciates the work that goes into making a cuisine.
"I learned the importance of ingredients," he said. "You may not be able to taste them, but it makes a difference," he said.
Brigham Nelson traded in his football shoulder pads for a chef's hat, at least for four days. The 12-year-old athlete described cooking as more art than science.
Brigham enjoyed learning how to make noodles and improvise.
"I know now how to replace the materials I don't have," he said.
Tara, the newly-crowned cooking champion, said the key to her success is leaving a little bit of mystery.
"I have a secret sauce," she said. "I don't share all of the ingredients." But Tara later admitted that some relatives have guessed some correctly.
She and her sister Taylor Swor, 11, received trophies for the Chopped Challenge, a competition the students used to make pasta and a protein.
Tara said she learned invaluable lessons at the workshop.
"I didn't know that much about cooking and now I do," she said. "I've definitely gotten more experience."