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Les Petits Chefs make dumplings with Vanessa Yeung

Vanessa Yeung holds the record as the guest chef who has come in the most times to work with Les Petits Chefs – this week was her NINTH visit!  She’s one of the most popular guest chefs (though the boys would have a very hard time choosing who is their favourite  – each week they revise their opinion about which session was “the best”, they change their minds often!) and has taught well over 100 of my students the fine art of dumpling making over the past five years.

From the very first time when Vanessa came in to make Soi Gau and Ginger Chicken Potstickers, I’ve loved watching how the whole dumpling-making process engages the boys. It doesn’t matter which boys are in the club or how crazy a day they have had (case in point, this Monday was our annual Holiday Market which is a day full of treats and fun for the boys), the minute they start making dumplings, the room becomes silent and calm. The concentration it takes to make dumplings properly takes over and channels their energy solely into dumpling folding and the kitchen lab is very quiet and focused. It’s like dumpling magic!

This week she showed the boys how to make Shitake and Nappa Cabbage Potstickers (pan fried) and Vegetarian Soi Gau “Water Dumplings” (boiled in water). While there was a lot of chopping to prep the fillings, the boys got down to work when they were told “the more you make, you more you get to take home” 😉

Kids chopping water chestnuts on eatlivetravelwrite.comKids chopping shiitake mushrooms on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids chopping green onions on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids chopping Nappa cabbage on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids grating ginger and garlic on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids chopping bamboo shoots on eatlivetravelwrite.comOnce our mise en place was done, we got to cooking the fillings (they need to cool down a little so they are easier to work with when filling the dumpling wrappers)…

Kids making vegetarian dumpling filling on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids making mushroom dumpling filling on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids making dumpling filling with water chestnuts on eatlivetravelwrite.comOnce the fillings were cooled down, Vanessa demonstrated how to form both the potstickers and the dumplings. Of course, many of the boys had their own interpretation of the shapes..

Kids shaping dumplings on eatlivetravelwrite.com Groups of kids making dumplings on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids filling dumplings on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids filling vegetarian dumplings on eatlivetravelwrite.comBut they turned out beautifully (for the most part)…

Kids making potstickers and water dumplings on eatlivetravelwrite.com Potstickers made my kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd many of them were gobbled up even before they left the lab…

Vegetarian dumplings and potstickers on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe’re so grateful to Vanessa for coming out (again!) to work with us. We must be the boys’ school with the highest number of students who know how to make dumplings in Toronto 😉

Read more about the classes Vanessa offers at Aphrodite Cooks.

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