Les petits chefs – Week 1

This is the first in a 6-week series chronicling my adventures in the kitchen with my cooking club at school – Les Petits Chefs.

When I received the book C is for cooking for review, I knew immediately that I wanted to start an after-school cooking club for my students.

C is for Cooking cover on eatlivetravelwrite.com
Remember when we Le Chef à l’école came and visit and what a huge success that was? My students love cooking and I think it’s such an important and useful skill for all children to learn.

The book itself is very visually appealing to both a child’s and an adult eye – when I was carrying it around at school, it generated a lot of interest from boys who just saw the cover – and definitely easy on the eye in terms of the way it’s organised. The font is large and pleasant to read and the recipe steps are clearly marked, including a special symbol for when it’s a “kid friendly” step (i.e. things to NOT do with the oven or stove top).

It’s organised into eight chapters:

  • Chefs Cook on Sesame Street (celebrity chefs like Martha Stewart, Alton Brown and Jamie Oliver share recipes)
  • Sweet Sips (smoothies and the like)
  • Best Breakfasts (emphasizing that it’s the most important meal of the day)
  • Lunches to Munch On
  • Super Soups
  • Family Dinner
  • Something Special on the Side
  • Sweets and Treats

Additionally, there are chapters of information about things like what you can expect children of different ages to be able to do in the kitchen, nutritional notes, ideas for how to involve the whole family in meal preparation and kitchen safety and at the end, there are some ideas for how to make food visually appealing to kids (fun shapes etc…), different kinds of quick snacks and ideas for “together time” in the kitchen with your child.

What particularly attracted me to the book was the fact that it showcases healthy yet fairly sophisticated dishes (Chinese meatballs with sesame rice, anyone?) simplified to the point where many of them could be prepared in an hour (that’s all the time we have for a club!)

For our first week, I chose a Jamie Oliver recipe – Rice Salad –  as a nod to how much I enjoyed his talk in Toronto last November.

The original recipe can also be found on Chatelaine.com. We added the zest to the dressing instead and shook it up with the oil and lemon juice instead of sprinkling it over the salad so I changed the directions slightly.

SO MUCH chopping!

Red peppers:

We finely chopped the herb leaves and add them to the bowl, together with the peppers and chilli.

So pretty!
We zested and juiced the lemon. We mixed oil and salt and the juice and shook it up!

Careful measuring!
All ready to dress the salad!
We mixed the remaining rice with the pepper/chilli mixture and poured over with dressing.

Bon appétit!

This was a super easy recipe to follow. The boys did a great job and I was impressed with both their food knowledge (we chatted about the different ingredients and passed some around like the herbs and the wild rice so they could smell them) and kitchen skills – they totally rocked the chopping!

Check back in next Thursday to see what my 15 little budding chefs get up to next week!

22 thoughts on “Les petits chefs – Week 1”

  1. That is brilliant. It is good to see young children getting into cooking and understand food and what they are eating. I am looking forward to next Thurs too.

  2. That is great exposure for the kids. A friend of mine in Vancouver is doing the same thing in different schools where she teach children how to cook. Maybe you have heard of Project CHEF. I hope I can join you there. 😀

  3. wow! what neat idea and a fun way for kids to spend there afternoon. it sounds like it is fun for you to! and of course the recipe looks great 🙂

  4. Brilliant! cooking classes for children are brilliant, it is important to show them how to cook and which are the best things to eat, to have one day well informed audults!

  5. Kyuddos on you idea and getting kids involed. I know my love of cooking started with my getting involved at a young age. Great book you founf too!

  6. Hey, Mardi. You didn't tell us that it was Jamie Oliver's Rice Salad. I checked the link you provided, though. And also, what did the kids think of the food they made?

  7. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. The boys (and parents!) apparently LOVED the salad so I am glad it was a hit.

    Divina – I have not heard of Project Chef but will look it up.

    La Table de Nana – it's a great book!

    Kablooey – ummm, I did mention it's a Jamie Oliver recipe!!! But you are right that I forgot the title in the post! Ooops…

  8. This sounds like a great recipe to with kids! I know my daughter would love it!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the latest posts on my site, thanks 🙂

  9. Mardi, I love that your taking time to show your students what an important lifetime skill it is to cook. I know my kids would love this book!

  10. This is wonderful! I like the photo of the little hands chopping parsley. My gourmet nephew would love the chance to do something like this.

  11. What a wonderful idea Mardi! I'm so impressed wiht it and can't wait to read more about you and your team of mini chefs! 😀

  12. This meal looks amazing! I am glad I found your blog! I can't wait to use some of your ideas and recipes!

  13. This book looks like one I need to get ASAP! Squirrel is starting to help me a lot in the kitchen, but how fun would it be to have a cookbook specifically geared towards her (PLUS she LOVES Sesame Street)? I'm looking forward to the rest of the series!

  14. Thanks everyone for your comments. I would totally recommend this book to anyone based on my experience with it so far 🙂 I think it's so important that little people whatever their gender learn about food and cooking from a very young age. I am looking forward to next week already!


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