I always look forward to hosting our guest chefs in the Petits Chefs programme and none more so than Vanessa Yeung. Many of you might know that this part of the Petits Chefs programme is such a huge part of its success – guest chefs, cookbook authors and food enthusiasts who lend their time and expertise to the club by either visiting and working with the boys at school or inviting us into their kitchens to work there. Since I launched this piece of the program in the spring of 2011, the boys have worked with SO many amazing people in the Toronto food community and every week I am so grateful for their generosity.
Vanessa is special though because she was back to work with the boys this week for her fourteenth visit! She’s a legend! Vanessa’s known around the Petits Chefs circles, as she is around Toronto, for her amazing dumplings and each time she comes we generally make some form of dumpling or potsticker. With a fairly new crew of boys this term, I was excited to introduce them to the magic that is learning how to fold potstickers!
They learned very quickly (kids do!):
Folding dumplings and potstickers might seem like it’s complicated but the boys always do a great job. I find all kids do well in this hands on environment – it’s helpful to have a food goal at the end of a task, it’s very motivating! Vanessa teaches a few of the boys at a time to fold them then those boys teach others how to do it – there’s no better way to consolidate learning than to teach someone else how to do something.
The potstickers are shallow fried then steamed (you add water to the pan and cover it briefly) and they really were ready in no time!
Not one potsticker fell apart this week (it’s a record!!). The boys did such a great, careful job folding them!
Meanwhile, over on Team Mango Salad, the boys honed their knife skills…
It’s a great recipe for kids because it requires fairly precise knife skills and it truly does keep them focussed as they make sure their veggies and fruits are similar sizes.
We also learned how to peel mangoes…
And made a simple dressing which involved everyone’s favourite job – squeezing citrus!
Then the fun part – putting it all together…
The boys did a great job with this week’s recipes and were SO excited to bring their meal home (although I am sure most of those potstickers didn’t make it home!). Thanks Vanessa for another great session and for making “complicated” food accessible to the boys 🙂
You can learn how to make these dishes too! Read more about the classes and catering Vanessa offers at Aphrodite Cooks:
Read more about Vanessa’s work with the Petits Chefs here:
Vanessa Yeung makes Soi Gau and Ginger Chicken Potstickers with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes Siu Mi and Mango Salad with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes Bison and Pork dumplings and Coconut Tarts with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes Cold Rolls and BBQ pork and chicken crisps with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes potstickers and steamed dumplings with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes steamed buns with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes chicken and shrimp potstickers with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes potstickers and mango salad with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes classic dumplings with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes basic tomato sauce (and pizzas!) with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes potstickers and scallion pancakes with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung make potstickers and dumplings with Les Petits Chefs
Vanessa Yeung makes dumplings and pomelo salad with Les Petits Chefs
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Every time I read one of these LPCs posts, I think how lucky they are.
At their age, I couldn’t have boiled an egg.