Chef Willi Franz helps Brooke Brunning and Jaxon Dollam whip up a tasty compote.

Kelowna students cooking in the classroom

Turning kids into the next generation of 'foodies,' the Chefs in the Classroom program gets kids stirring in Kelowna.

Teacher Leanne Reid’s Grade 3 Glenrosa Elementary school classroom was filled last Monday with the sweet smells of vanilla, cinnamon and fruit.

The appealing blend came courtesy of a compote being heated up in a pot set in the corner of the classroom.

There, students wearing paper chef hats they decorated themselves, took turns chopping fruit, stirring the pot and sharing cooking anecdotes from their kitchens at home.

“I cut up vegetables at home all the time,” said Brooke Brunning, 9.

Across the room, her classmate Keenan Haring, 9, pointed out that he has taught his mom how to make a tomato salad he first sampled in the class, and that he has a vibrant garden he works on.

Several others chimed in about the veggies and fruit they too grow, and what tastes best.

Cooking in the classroomFoodieism and all it entails may not be a part of the traditional curriculum, but this year the Chefs in the Classroom program has ensured that it’s the most well loved.

“It’s been great,” said Reid, as chefs prepared her class for the last of the eight-installment program on Monday.

“The kids get really involved and they’re hands on. Kids who don’t get to cook at home are doing it here and they are also seeing what happens when you plant a garden.”

That latter connection to food production is one of the things that Willi Franz, a retired chef who now volunteers with the Okanagan Chefs Association, wants to impart to young people.

“We want kids to know that food doesn’t come from a bag or that chicken doesn’t just come from a freezer,” he said.

Franz said that, while Chefs in the Classroom is in its first year, there was a program in Vancouver that had local chefs teaching students in the three previous years.

The newness of the Okanagan-centric program is being tweaked and altered, which, for example, meant Monday’s lesson was out of place.

The class was supposed to eat something prepared from the vegetables they were growing, but a warm spring meant that the harvest-related lesson had to happen earlier than anticipated.

“These changes will happen,” said Franz, noting that it is his hope that the program will expand in years to come and those involved will have more time to refine the curriculum.

Thus far, the program has been rolled out in six schools with 35 volunteers making sure it happen. Those volunteers are chefs, junior chefs and others involved in the industry.

 

Just Posted

Sparwood fire victim honoured

Bradley Patrick Tipper remembered as gentle-hearted and generous

Delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

DriveBC reminding travellers the area is an active wildfire zone and warning of fallen debris.

Fernie SAR rescues injured mountain biker

On Monday evening, Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was tasked by BC… Continue reading

Fernie man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires in the Elk Valley

SAR volunteers thanked after series of emergencies

Incidents ranged from the search for a missing hiker to delivering evacuation alerts in nearby towns

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Lightning blamed for most recent regional fires

Southeast Fire Centre says 90 per cent of the 342 fires recently reported are lightning-caused

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Most Read