Les petits chefs – Food Revolution Week 1

This term’s Petits Chefs club is a smaller group of boys since it’s also a huge term for sports teams but I have a dedicated group who seem really excited to be learning some cooking skills and recipes.  Since the smaller group is a little easier to manage, I have decided to use Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook as my guide, thus enabling me to bring in little snippets of my thoughts on the show which I am following.  I certainly don’t mean to “preach” to the boys but education is the first step in any change and I think discussing some of the issues raised on the show will be great to get them thinking about what they eat and where it comes from.

Ok, enough of all that, onto this week’s recipe!  I was thinking “spring” since the weather has been gorgeous.  Nothing says spring like peas so I was drawn to the Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy Smoked Bacon and Pea sauce.

We actually used sour cream instead of crème fraîche since that is so hard to find in Toronto (well during a 30 minute break, that is!).  I used full-fat sour cream since there were only 2 tablespoons in the recipe, I would rather eat a small amount of a full-fat product than a bucket of low or non-fat with all those chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients.  I also couldn’t find fresh peas at short notice so I made sure to use organic frozen ones.

We started by dicing the bacon.  I made the boys remove some of the fat since some rashers contained a lot.  Even when we cooked it, there was still a lot of fat we had to drain from the pan.

We picked the mint leaves off the stalks and rolled the leaves, cutting them into fine strips:

Grated the cheese:

Then we got cooking:


Isn’t it beautiful?  It tasted amazing – a combination of the mint and lemon juice really brought out the “spring” in this dish!  From start to finish, including packing the dishwasher, about 40 minutes so definitely one I would add to my repertoire, considering I generally have all those ingredients on hand at home.

Bravo petits chefs!


48 thoughts on “Les petits chefs – Food Revolution Week 1”

  1. mardi this is grand! love it when kids help in the kitchen. i am glad to say i am happy that i do not have to preach to soeren. from the day he could eat solids i cooked all of his baby food paying special care in what ingredients and products i use. it’s been a part of what he has grown up with. till today he eats all kinds of fruit and veggies and makes no big fuss. so i think it’s important to start early with kids and show them what the right choices in life are. later it becomes difficult and need a “revolution” to get the message across!

    • Yes Meeta, I firmly believe that education must start at home. Soeren is so lucky to have you as a mum to teach him all about real food! We have friends like that and their kids are a dream to eat out at a restaurant with…

  2. It is terrific to see children starting out in the kitchen so early. I was very young when I started to cook and have kept the passion to cook with me my whole life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these children do the same!

  3. Great job petit chefs! Also love that you are using Jamie Oliver’s approach. It’s great to teach the little ones that cooking is approachable and you can get a good, tasty, healthy meal that doesn’t come out of a box – kudos!

  4. Looks delicious! And I bet your boys know what the vegetables are called. We were appalled in the first episode when the kids didn’t know what a tomato looked like.

  5. That looks fantastic! I think I’m going to accidentally show it to Moochie (since everything has to be her idea) and let her suggest we make it. Then I’ll get us the cookbook. We have tons of wild mint in our yard (or soon will) and she loves peas, so we’ll plant those again too.

  6. Hooray for Mardi and Jamie Oliver! Wish more people would take this initiative to teach our kids! Fresh herbs and citrus are so easy to add and make such a difference in taste.

  7. FANTASTIC CHOICE of books! Everything I’ve tried out of that book so far has been a huge hit with my family. Can’t wait to see what you make next!

  8. I love that you taught this recipe to kids. I’ve been cooking through the same book, and have taught some of the simpler recipes to my kids (who are older than your group but they have no idea in the kitchen). I have made this pasta dish myself and while it was intended for kids, I thought it was a wonderful flavour combination as well!

  9. Yum, how good does that look – just printed out the recipe. Peas are my most favourite vegetable.

    Check out Stephanie Alexander’s website. She started a schools kitchen garden project in Australia six years ago, following the success of her teaching programme in a Melbourne school. The Oz govt came on board and offer grants of up to $60,000 to schools to implement the programme.

    Actually Mardi, you’d be happy to know there is a French chef – Chef Laurent, operating a school canteen, near here in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, having removed all junk food and serving up healthy, fresh-cooked fare instead.

      • and, do you know what Mardi? Knowing you, it will happen and good luck with it.

        It will take time and I realise Spring has only just arrived, but an Autumn suggestion is to see if you can organsie to set aside a small plot of school ground and plant garlic. Plant, mulch well and voila, come Spring, garlic appears. Fresh, home grown garlic for Les Petits Chefs.

  10. They must be SO proud of themselves. What a wonderful spring recipe. I love that they are wearing starched white jackets to cook in. It looks so professional and serious. And, I know, cooking nutritious, delicious, and economical food is a serious business. I love to see what you do with your students and marvel at your photography… and their young, expressive, and very clean hands.

  11. It is so vital for people to know what they are eating and where it comes from! I try to impart that knowledge to my children, so when it comes time for them to make decisions, they can be educated ones. I love this recipe. I have peas growing in the garden, but at present they are only an inch tall! I need to save this recipe for a month or so!

  12. What a perfect meal for a family – healthy, fast and easy. I am going to add this to our cooking plan, especially with spring peas showing up at the markets.


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