Les Petits Chefs go to Panama with Chef Rossy Earle! | eat. live. travel. write.

Les Petits Chefs go to Panama with Chef Rossy Earle!

Chef Rossy Earle was our second invited guest chef who came to work with Les Petits Chefs this term.  Born & raised in Panama City, Panama, Rossy prides herself in infusing Latin American flavours into whatever she creates, making it her goal to merge some of her roots into Canadian food culture. Currently a freelance Chef in Toronto, Rossy is working on on developing her website and a line of bottled specialty products under the name SupiCucú, Rossy’s first product will be the launch of her hotly anticipated “Salsa de Fuego” hot sauce.  You can read a wonderful profile of Rossy over at Edible Toronto.  She chose to make empanadas and huevitos de leche (Panamanian milk candy) with the boys.

Rossy chatted a little to the boys about Panama and the type of food that is typical to her country.

She brought recipes so that the boys can recreate their delicious treats at home with/ for their mums and dads…

Rossy brought all the ingredients pre-measured and chopped. The boys are very lucky!

We were interested to smell and taste the Panamanian variety of cilantro – culantro – a longer-leaf variety that doesn’t have the soapy taste some people associate with regular cilantro.

The boys very much enjoyed working with the empanada dough.

They are becoming quite the little dough-masters!

Ok, some of the shapes weren’t so traditional but they had all the required parts – dough, filling and lots of tender loving care 🙂

I love the rustic look of these!

The boys were lucky to have a taste of Rossy’s homemade chorizo sausage!

Whilst the empanadas were baking, we got to work with the milk candies.

Again, the boys were treated to Rossy’s homemade dulce de leche.  A few fingers made it into the bowls…

We mixed in some crumbled up tea biscuits (cookies) and some Rice Krispies for Will, our gluten intolerent chef…

And then we got to work, rolling the candies.

It’s hard work trying to keep your fingers out of your mouth and roll the candies fast enough. Your hands get warm and then sometimes the mixture disintegrates into a sticky, YUMMY mess.

I do think, however, that some of the boys have careers ahead of them as candy makers. Check out these babies:

And then Rossy showed the boys how to wrap the candies…

Aren’t they adorable?

And since Mr Neil likes to be on the tasting panel, here’s what he will find in his lunch today:


You can find Rossy’s recipe for empanadas here. I strongly encourage you to make them. I know I will be!

Thank you so much Rossy for taking the time out of your hectic life as a chef and a mum to show the boys some of the finer points of Panamanian cuisine.  I know it was one of the high points of MY day 🙂

29 Responses to Les Petits Chefs go to Panama with Chef Rossy Earle!

  1. Paula May 10, 2011 at 09:04 #

    What a fun class that was with Chef Rossy and to think that she had everything pre-cut and measured for the boys! As much as they must have enjoyed making the tasty looking empanadas, I’m sure they were very excited to make the milk candies. The wrapping of them is very cute. Looking forward to hearing what Neil thinks of his little lunch surprise today.

  2. Belinda @zomppa May 10, 2011 at 10:47 #

    What a fantastic job!! Love the rustic look, too – bet they loved those candies!

  3. MikeVFMK May 10, 2011 at 12:44 #

    I love the weekly adventures of the kids! They make great little chefs and they seem to be so involved and passionate to learn. Well done, Mardi! Another great one.

  4. K A B L O O E Y May 10, 2011 at 12:58 #

    I wish I could be on the tasting panel! The photos are beautiful — the colors shine, and everything looks so marvelous. How cool is it that you’re bringing chefs (besides yourself, of course) in to work with your wonderful incipient chefs.

  5. Cookin' Canuck May 10, 2011 at 13:05 #

    What a fun class and what a wonderful experience for the boys! These empanadas look so good – I’m heading over to check out the recipe.

  6. ironchefman May 10, 2011 at 18:45 #

    Cool, I learned to cook in Panama City too! Well, Panama City, Florida. Key lime pies, yes, but empanadas with homemade chorizo, unfortunately no. Looks so good!

  7. My Carolina Kitchen May 11, 2011 at 06:45 #

    What a fun class for the boys. I would have enjoyed it also. I haven’t had an empanada in years. Nice to know the difference between culantro and cilantro.

  8. Melissa@EyesBigger May 11, 2011 at 16:08 #

    Oh my gosh but those little brightly wrapped milk candies are adorable! I love this program you do Mardi – such a great idea and I love seeing the results 🙂

  9. Ethan May 12, 2011 at 01:45 #

    Ok, honestly, where was a petits chefs program when I was growing up? The kids get you and visiting chefs that come with chorizo, culantra and homemade empanadas. I can’t believe I’m jealous of little kids.
    everything looks great, Chef Rossy put on a show!

  10. Mr. Neil May 12, 2011 at 07:22 #

    Success again, boys!

    Apologies for delay…frantic at work so skipped lunch for a day.

    But even an extra day-old, tasty as anything. And the milk caramels are a delightful dessert – not too sweet.

    Thanks for sending a taste package. 🙂

  11. Kate@Diethood May 12, 2011 at 11:19 #

    Oh look at all those little hands … awwwww…. how fun!!

  12. Rochelle May 12, 2011 at 13:31 #

    Those look so good! They have empanadas here too and I’m hoping to make some up with my kiddo but I think the candies would go over even better with him (he has quite the sweet tooth).

  13. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 12, 2011 at 16:22 #

    Oh, I just love how you tackle new and interesting flavors with your petits chefs. These look like great recipes… Those empanads are sounding pretty amazing to me at the moment!

  14. penny aka jeroxie May 12, 2011 at 17:32 #

    that is a fun class. wonder what mr. neil thinks of his lunch.

  15. Renee (Kudos Kitchen) May 14, 2011 at 10:26 #

    I am sorry that I haven’t been a regular visitor to your postings of Les Petits Chefs. I fell in instant love the moment I started reading. How wonderful to be teaching such a valuable life skill to young boys. I love seeing their small hands hard at work and covered with flour. Great idea and bringing in professional chefs like Rossy is just too cool for school! These are some lucky boys indeed. All their finished recipes look amazing!!!! Good work guys! I’ll be back 🙂

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