Project Chef, the brainchild of Chef Barb Findley, descended on Tecumseh Elementary in late January for a five day cooking extravaganza. During their time at the elementary school, the program transformed teacher Susan Almeida's Grade 4 classroom into a kitchen. During the program, Grade 4 students improved both their capability and confidence in the kitchen.
The program included all the food (sustainable, healthy and organic), cooking equipment, materials (curriculum, aprons, printed recipes, and learning logs) for two classes. Students put on their aprons and learned about the importance of handwashing, cleanliness and things such as the all important "claw" (fingers folded in) to avoid cut fingers.
The smells of great home cooking filled the hallways and thrilled the Grade 4 students participating. The whole experience earned rave reviews from several students overheard saying everything from, "I rate my group a 5 out of 5. It doesn't get any better than this," to "four things I can do in the kitchen to create a safe and delicious meal is 'clawing' while cutting food, 'sawing' while cutting food, washing my hands, and keeping the pot handle in."
Tecumseh vice principal Carrie Froese says her students are continuing their learning even after Project Chef finished.
"The Garden Committee is in the process of allocating the four garden beds to interested classes to grow food and edible flowers," she said. "The Environmental Committee is investigating composting along with the Grade 2 classrooms to provide the gardens with rich soil."
Forese says school community members can stary posted on these developments by following the Tecumseh Garden blog.