Monday, 11 June 2012

My First Mini Cooking

As a new volunteer with The Mini Cooking Club, I made my first visit to the ‘Cooking with Kids’ session last Wednesday. The MCC runs a six week programme called “Cooking with Kids” at the Copleston centre around the corner from Denmark Hill station in South London. I went there to take a video for the website and discovered the kids were more than happy to feature, posing with their peeled carrots and cored apples. 

As soon as I arrived I was struck with how inclusive, welcoming and enjoyable the club was. I had already met Cecilia who founded the club (she is the one generally responsible for keeping all the mayhem in order). I was introduced to Desmond who was running the class, who told me he also worked full time as chef. 

All the action happened in a little community kitchen which opened into a seating area where parents can oversee the creative chaos. The kids wore little plastic aprons, diced, chopped and giggled, and generally infuse the atmosphere with liveliness and fun. I watched as Cecilia and Desmond led a band of eleven children to produce a successful spaghetti bolognese and apple crumble, catching the magic on camera. 

As well as practical skills, the session taught children about healthy living.  Cecilia and Desmond explained the difference between whole grained and refined – even I learnt a thing or two about how pasta was made. There was a lot of excitement and one of the mothers told me that it carried on into the kitchen at home. Her daughter, aged 7, was always jumping at the chance to help out.

Most importantly, the club was a safe and warm environment for the children learn to cook, gain a more educated perspective on food, and have a well-earned meal at the end. 
The kids were keen on me sending out their appreciation out on Twitter, which I duly did. 

It was a great visit to the Mini Cooking Club. I wished I was attending the class rather than helping... 

I think the ‘Cooking with Children’ programme is a fantastic charity idea and was a delight to see in action. The Mini Cooking Club is worth keeping on your radar. I took some great pictures and am underway in putting a video together for the website. Watch out for the Mini Stars.

I am looking forward to meeting the people the next programme, which is run for people with mental health concerns. Hoping there will be a ‘Cooking with Lowly Student Bloggers Next...’

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