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Les Petits Chefs make soup at The Gallery Grill

The focus for this year’s Food Revolution Day is about sharing the power of cooking, the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately showing people that changing our food choices can make us both healthier and happier.  Instead of one official recipe as there has been in years past, this year, we have a set of 10 recipes chosen by Jamie Oliver that he deems the “Starter Pack of Cooking.  Each recipe covers a different skill and technique that can give anyone the confidence to cook good, real, healthy meals for themselves and their families, for now and the future.  Jamie has spoken about the idea of ten recipes to save your life since his TED talk in 2010 and this semester Les Petits Chefs will be working with chefs from around Toronto who will cook THEIR “must know” recipes with the boys.

This week we were lucky enough to check out The Gallery Grill and cook with Chef Suzanne Baby – again! That’s right – the club has been lucky enough to cook with Suzanne three times already – the first time the boys got to make choux pastry, the second visit was a ravioli-making extravaganza and the third time we made soufflés!   Choux pastry! Ravioli (from scratch)! Soufflé! Hear that?  “Meant to be difficult” (according to some) dishes and certainly not recipes most people would think about tackling with around 15 boys in a tiny kitchen in just over an hour… But Suzanne is not “most people”. She totally gets me and shares my high expectations of the boys and is always up for the challenge of cooking something awesome in an hour!

Kids chopping onions at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhen I asked Suzanne to choose her “must know” dish, she chose soup. I happen to agree that soup is such an important dish to learn how to make (as does Jamie – soup is one of his “must know” recipes too!) so I was excited to see what recipe Suzanne would come up with.

Chopping onions at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids chopping garlic at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comWell knowing Suzanne, I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear she planned on making not one but TWO soups with the boys. In an hour. Ok then! We’re always up for a challenge in cooking club!

Making soup at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com Making butternut squash soup at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comFirst, the boys worked on a beautiful butternut squash purée…

Pureeing butternut squash soup at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com Butternut squash soup made by kids at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comYup, garnish and all!

At the same time as we worked on the purée (it had to cook for a bit), we got started on some Pho!  I love that Suzanne chose this because it’s a classic “takeout” dish and I love to show the boys how easy it is to make their takeout favourites at home.  We toasted some beautiful spices to make a spice bag for our broth…

Spice selection at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comSpice blend at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com Making spice bags at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd roasted some vegetables for flavour…

Roasting onions garlic and ginger at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe practiced precise measuring…

Measuring sesame oil at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com Measuring spices at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com Measuring salt at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd marvelled at just how good it smelled bubbling away on the stovetop…

Chef Suzanne Baby at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com(Chef Suzanne is so calm in the kitchen!)

Then the fun part – putting it all together…

Pho fixings at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comSuzanne had prepared a colourful array of add-ins for the boys to choose from… They loved smelling all the different fresh herbs…

Kids smelling fresh mint at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.comKIds assembling Pho soup at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com KIds making Pho soup at The Gallery Grill on eatlivetravelwrite.com(Just like takeout – only better!)

I was so impressed with the boys this week (well, I always am…). They were so open minded to all the different spices, flavours and tastes, they asked intelligent questions, they were curious and great listeners. Then again, they had a wonderful teacher in Suzanne!

We are SO grateful to the chef and food community who so generously share their knowledge (and kitchens!) with us each week.  Thank you (again!) Suzanne and the team at The Gallery Grill for welcoming us!

Stay tuned this term to see which chefs the boys will work with and what they will choose to make as their “must know” dishes!

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