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February 3, 2014

Students at Eastover tape cooking show

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ producer offers input

By Elizabeth Scussel
C & G Staff Writer

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Students at Eastover tape cooking show
Chefs Sloane Popov, Charlie Antone and Aiden Scholl create homemade noodles for their linguine dish at the Kinder Café, held at Eastover Elementary School.

The gloves were on at Eastover Elementary School last week — the oven gloves, that is.

The first-ever Kinder Café cooking show featured preparation of homemade linguine by kindergarten chefs Sloane Popov, Charlie Antone and Aiden Scholl.

The Kinder Café is a cooking show recorded live and put on by Eastover’s kindergarten students. It’s also a part of Eastover’s CHEW program, which stands for Cook, Harvest, Eat Well. The program teaches students how to make healthy eating fun. At the head of the Kinder Café table are Eastover kindergarten teachers Amanda Melymuka and Megan Carlen.

“This experience has opened my eyes to fresh ways of teaching,” Carlen said. “We were looking for new, different ideas, and we wanted to integrate technology. We came up with a cooking blog for the kids, and then the cooking show. The kids loved it. Seeing them get this excited makes me excited.”

The teachers listened to different chefs’ opinions about what goes into a cooking show. With the help of local chefs, and Skype sessions with the producer of “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Gordon Ramsey’s Sous Chef” James Avery, the kids were well prepared to try their hands at cooking delicious and healthy meals.

“The producer gave us an insight as to what his job entails,” Melymuka said. “Chef James Avery gave us some advice and did an interactive cooking lesson with us. We connected with them through social media, and we made a YouTube video reaching out for the public’s help. We also had a teacher on staff that helped us make some great connections.”

Their cupboards were filled with donations from local supermarkets and produce picked fresh from the school garden. After the meal was prepared, it was dished out to a panel of guest judges and a roomful of classmates who, after sampling the linguine, were encouraged to fill out comment cards noting their likes and dislikes. On the panel of judges sat Superintendent Robert Glass.

“This concept of farm-to-table and promoting healthy eating is great. The kids are learning valuable life skills here, and their enthusiasm is off the charts. What they’re doing is bringing the whole school together,” Glass said. “I think this may be the first time I’ve had homemade linguine, and it was delicious.”

To watch a video of the Kinder Café, visit www.kindercafe.edublogs.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Elizabeth Scussel at escussel@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1037.