new class is letting the kiddos handle the chopping and whisking. The Kitchen Crew teaches children to prep meals using nutritious, unprocessed ingredients under the careful culinary guidance of Cora Cowles.
Since January, this West Bloom eld mom has offered pop-up lessons at local community centers including Ferndale and Southfield. It all started with a passion for fresh food – and a desire to start a business that could include her toddlers, ages 1 and 3.
“A cooking class works because if I have my kids there, no one ever blinks an eye,” says Cowles, who also works in digital advertising. When she was a child herself, Cowles says she regularly ate processed foods.
“As I got older, I realized that mashed potatoes don’t have to come from a box and vegetables don’t have to come from a can,” she says. Her classes reverse that trend – and help kids develop willingness to try new foods. “If they’ve gone through the trouble of slicing it up, putting it in the skillet, put- ting it on the plate, then they’re like, ‘Well, wait a minute. I did all that work, I've got to try it at least,'" Cowles says.
Safety is a focus, too – especially for little ones. Crew classes for ages 5-10, which require parent participation, cover techniques, tools and caution in the kitchen. During lessons, also offered for ages 10-15, students have made everything from churros and gnocchi to frittata and German pancakes.
All along, they’re developing lifelong skills of cooking and choosing healthy, nutritious food, one meal at a time.
“The goal is for them to be able to go back home and be able to cook one of the meals for their family. It’s really the confidence I want them to learn.”
Watch for a possible brick-and-mortar location in the future, Cowles adds.
More information at thekitchencrew.com.
PEACH AND PROSCIUTTO FLATBREAD
4 pieces of garlic naan or similar flatbread
4 slices of prosciutto
1 cup of crumbled feta cheee
1 cup of arugula
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
PREHEAT oven to 375 F. Lightly BRUSH each flatbread with olive oil. SPRINKLE feta on each. Thinly SLICE peaches and arrange slices on bread so they’re not overlapping. SLICE or tear prosciutto into bite-sized pieces and arrange on each bread. BAKE on baking sheet for 5 minutes at 375 degrees. REMOVE from oven and ADD 1⁄4 cup arugula to each. RETURN to oven and BAKE for 2 more minutes. SLICE AND SERVE!