The Milton Conquest Boys' Club recently concluded its second cooking class under the auspices of the Kids Culinary Community at The Loft at the Milton Longo's store.
Under the adept guidance of Chef Mike and his team, the boys learned how to prepare nutritious, exciting food, present a creative meal, and clean up afterwards. And all this was accomplished with order, discipline and professionalism. In addition, the boys learned how to share, co-operate and give thanks for the food which they had magically transformed from bowls of ingredients into delicious meals.
With society's emphasis on the disconnect, a class like this offers the boys a chance to spend three hours focusing on something as basic, and necessary as tasty, healthy food. The only technology involved was the microwave oven, and the bright led lights over the large mirror which reflected all the action taking place over the stove. There were no gadgets in sight.
This was as simple and effective as it gets, with constant attention from a chef who is obviously dedicated to teaching young people the value of cooking. Boys need to get their hands off the video games and into the dough and onto the cutting board, and that is exactly what they did for nine hours total, over three weekend mornings.
The kitchen became a place of serious work, yet enjoyable activity which produced delicious and attractive dishes. The result was beaming smiles, and the pride which comes from a job well done.
I am certain that these young boys will reap the benefits of these cooking sessions for years to come, and well into their adult lives, and that their future wives will be thanking the Kids Culinary Community and Conquest over and over again.
Each session ended with a meal, and Marvin Duarte, the Conquest Club Director would say Grace as all the boys bowed their heads, and prayed in silence, and thanksgiving for the wonderful food and the opportunity to cook it under such talented direction.
At the final cooking class, Julia Hanna, Director of the Kids Culinary Community, along with Chef Mike, handed out gift bags and diplomas, and the boys served a delicious meal with a Mexican flavour, to their parents and friends. Julia spoke of the importance of healthy eating, and the art of cooking, and thanked everyone present.
I could not help but be impressed with the pride, dedication, hard work and commitment of the Kids Culinary Community, and the generosity of Longo's for providing the food and the Loft for our use.
But in the end, the lasting impression I will treasure is the radiant expressions on the boys' faces as they got to serve the food they had prepared, and cooked to the people they love so dearly. Conquest Boys Club is dedicated to teaching virtues to the boys, and the virtues which stood out for me were generosity and sharing and loving care.
Healthy food, virtues, friends and loved ones...now that is a lot to give thanks for.