Les Petits Chefs in the Canadian Living test kitchen!

I was so fortunate to meet Adell Shneer at a Women’s Culinary Network event in Toronto back in November.  Not only does she have a dream job working for Canadian Living which I find absolutely fascinating (and would love to know more about – hint hint!), but she immediately offered to come and work with Les Petits Chefs as part of our guest chef series this term.

Adell was just recently promoted to Test Kitchen Manager, but has been with the magazine as a Food Specialist, then a Senior Food Specialist since 2005.  Her role as Manager capitalizes on her amazing cooking and people skills.  In this key role on the Canadian Living Test Kitchen team, Adell is faced with the task of developing hundreds of new recipes and ensuring that each and every recipe meets the Tested Til Perfect stamp of approval. Adell has done numerous live and television appearances and is passionate about her profession and brings a zesty energy, creativity and a welcome warmth to all her endeavours.

One of the things I really like about the Canadian Living food section is that so many recipes are quick and easy without looking like they took you 30 minutes.  What could be better than sitting down to a from-scratch meal in under an hour? Well, how about a soup and a pasta dish in under an hour prepared by 10 boys under the age of 11?  Yes, you read that right – Adell chose to prepare Tex-Mex tomato rice soup and Quick and Easy chicken piccata linquini with the boys.

Some of our Petits Chefs were off at the warplane museum on Monday so I invited some other boys to come and join in to make up the numbers.  We had a mix of Grades 4 and 5, and after introducing herself and chatting briefly about her job, Adell divvied up the jobs and made her way around all five stations, helping the boys out with their tasks.

Jalpeños were chopped. Sans tears!

(thanks Adell for providing the gloves. Jamie was not in any danger of having to use the eye bath as poor Liam had to last year!)

Soon, the kitchen science lab was filled with wonderful smells…

Causing passers-by to stop and peep in at the organized chaos that is Les Petits Chefs!  However, out of the chaos, the boys produced two professional looking dishes that received rave reviews from both the boys and the parents of those who managed to save them a little taste!

Tex-Mex tomato rice soup. This one has a kick! You can definitely taste the two jalapeño peppers.  I love that we prepared this chunky-style – it’s lovely and rustic.  One of the boys took it home and puréed it and served it to his whole family in shot glasses. I had better watch myself, huh?

And Quick and Easy chicken piccata linguini. This is a fabulous dish for the spring/ summer – it doesn’t require much preparation and is fresh and light.

Thank you so much Adell for sharing your enthusiasm and expertise with the boys – I know they will be making these recipes again 🙂

41 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs in the Canadian Living test kitchen!”

  1. …and thank you, LPC, for my lunch treat yesterday! Having spent the weekend helping cook for 70, I was delighted by this surprise in my lunch bag.

    Loved the kick, and I must say not knowing what it was, for a moment I was confused as it almost seemed a sort of “rice gazpacho” to be eaten cold. (I tried; the spice worked well.) In the end I did zap it, to great effect.

    My only complaint was that the bowl was too small, and I didn’t have a zesty lager to accompany it. 🙂

  2. Great post. I remember when I was working at SLT and my children were younger, I always signed them up for the kid’s cooking classes. They loved it and I loved watching all of those children working together to create great dishes. I was always a bit nervous when 10 children were chopping with knives at the same time! haha

  3. Oh, I love seeing the little chefs in action…SO wonderful! And the resulting dishes are both beautiful and delicious!!! How fun!

  4. Hi Mademoiselle Mardi and Les Petit Chefs,
    Thanks for the fun in the kitchen! Your little chefs are so impressive- what a team effort! Next time shall we try and tackle three dishes in an hour?

  5. Another wonderful opportunity for Les Petits Chefs to hone their ever expanding skills and how nice of you to invite other boys to the class! Enjoyed this post and the photos and the creative idea of one of your students to puree the soup and serve it in shot glasses!

  6. I’m usually always jealous of Les Petits Chefs and now even more so than they had the chance to meet AND cook with Adell! Everything looks terrific. Bravo a tous!

  7. These little guys are doing great. One of the great outcomes of introducing chefs/culinary experts to run the occasional session will be to expand the youngsters’ horizons about food. They won’t like everything they make, but – by the end of it all – they will like many more things (good things) than would otherwise have been the case. While les petits chefs is in session, it must be hell for the rest of the school having to deal with the wafting aromas. Lovely piece today.

  8. Your little chefs are amazing! I love that gorgeous tomato rice soup… as my little chef would say, “Bravo!” 🙂


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