About a dozen grade 5 students from Pincourt’s Edgewater Elementary School gathered at the House of Chef James Mitchell in Saint-Lazare on Wednesday morning to take part in a very special cooking atelier.
That day’s assignment: sautéing the beef and pork used as the foundation of shepherd’s pie as well as mashing the potatoes.
Learning to cook is a bit advanced for elementary students who said they were surprised they got to used knives with real edges. But the real lesson here was not what they were cooking, but for whom they were cooking.
The purpose of the exercise — a new pilot-project launched by the House of Chef James Mitchell — was “teaching students how to help other students, their family, their friends and their parents, through the art of cooking,” said president and co-founder Danai Alexopoulos.
The food they spent hours cooking is destined for 10 needy families who come from their own school.
“In a lot of the families, both partners do have jobs. But they’re not doing enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle,” said Debbie King, a social worker at Edgewater Elementary.
Organizers are happy with the reaction they’ve gotten so far.
For Mitchell, the chef, it was also rewarding to share his craft.
“It’s just fun to have the kids here, helping out, and teaching them a few tricks of the trade.”
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