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Old 10-04-2010, 10:17 AM   #21
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Yep ... kids are funny.

Last week my culinary students breaded chicken breasts that had been stuffed with green chilies and pepper jack cheese. The breasts were pan fried and served with a chile sauce, herbed rice pilaf, and grilled asparagus.

The students did a great job but after eating their meal, one of the kids asked me when we would begin making "real food."

I asked him what he thought real food was.

The answer was pizza, fried chicken, tacos, and burgers i.e. fast food. After some additional thought, he added mac and cheese ... the Kraft instant mix not the made from scratch type.

(sigh)

I find this very depressing. When culinary students are interested in this fare there is something wrong. Don't get me wrong, the occasional meal like this is fine but you said these were culinary students, aren't they more adventurous than that? Or at least shouldn't they be? Maybe I'm just too old to understand.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:24 AM   #22
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...The answer was pizza, fried chicken, tacos, and burgers i.e. fast food. After some additional thought, he added mac and cheese ... the Kraft instant mix not the made from scratch type.

(sigh)
...and what was Chef Dave's response to that?

There's nothing wrong with learning to make pizza (from scratch), fried chicken, tacos and burgers. They aren't fast food, they're American staples.

As for the guy who wanted to 'learn' how to make mac and cheese from the blue box, I'd throw him out of the class.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #23
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I find this very depressing. When culinary students are interested in this fare there is something wrong. Don't get me wrong, the occasional meal like this is fine but you said these were culinary students, aren't they more adventurous than that? Or at least shouldn't they be? Maybe I'm just too old to understand.
These are culinary students in a rural impoverished area. If you think about life from their point of view, what have they experienced? Our area has fast food, diners, Mexican restaurants, and a Denny's.

Local folk eat burritos, beans, Spanish rice, grilled meats, and fast food. Italian food is something that comes from Pizza Hut or out of a can or microwave. French food is French toast and French fries.

What do they know about the world beyond Arizona let alone beyond this isolated valley?

On top of everything else, they're teenagers ...

My advanced students are for the most part, dutifully learning about mother sauces and their derivatives and whenever possible, I let the students make derivatives that are "teenage friendly." In this area this means turning a Bechamel into a cheese sauce to make mac and cheese ... or turning a Veloute into a green chile sauce that is more in keeping with local tastes.

In the end, I'm here to serve them ... and the instructional standards for my state don't actually require me to teach mother sauces. I am simply required to teach them how to prepare food using a variety of different procedures i.e. braising, broiling, grilling, frying, steaming, poaching etc.

I'm willing to meet my students half way as long as they're willing to try new things.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:40 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
...and what was Chef Dave's response to that?

There's nothing wrong with learning to make pizza (from scratch), fried chicken, tacos and burgers. They aren't fast food, they're American staples.

As for the guy who wanted to 'learn' how to make mac and cheese from the blue box, I'd throw him out of the class.
Agreed! However, there are techniques to make it better than following the box directions.

This topic made me think of a study I heard of 15+ years ago. For a couple months a school (I think in California) let the kids choose whatever they wanted for lunch. They had a wide range of foods, from unhealthy (candy bars, cake, cookies, etc.) to healthy (salad bar, fruit, vegetables, etc.). At first the kids went wild with the candy and other sweets. After a couple weeks, however, most of the kids switched to the healthier foods.

It just goes to show that our bodies will let us know what it needs--we just need to listen to it!

Barbara
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:59 PM   #25
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Teenagers are weird and are even weirder (is it a word) around the kitchen. Last night I prepera this beautifull spaghetty diner with garlic bread and all, guess what my 15 year old ate. Cerial! Imagine that. That was insulting.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:03 PM   #26
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Teenagers are weird and are even weirder (is it a word) around the kitchen. Last night I prepera this beautifull spaghetty diner with garlic bread and all, guess what my 15 year old ate. Cerial! Imagine that. That was insulting.
I know a grown woman (around my age, which is on the 100 side of 50) who ONLY eats cereal!

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Old 10-04-2010, 07:03 PM   #27
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Yeah, but I bet that woman doesn't have her father slaving away by the stove making his home made sause, granding fresh chuck etc, etc.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:15 PM   #28
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No, and I wasn't really comparing the two. She just doesn't know how to cook, and since she likes cereal, she doesn't care to learn. I'm not sure if she ever cooked for her family.

I've never understood why kids would want to eat something like cereal or Ramen when there was good homemade food available. But you never know what's going on in a kid's head sometimes!

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Old 10-05-2010, 11:35 AM   #29
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Tell me about that. My kid went away to boarding school, came back full blown teenager with all the perks of being one. Kind of hit me in the head hard. My oldest one was muche easier, not that he always behave, but he alwassy did with such faness and respect that it was really hard to get mad at him. I want to lough and cry at the same time now.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:30 PM   #30
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My 9 year old is pretty insulting about my cooking too. I make great bread, and she hates it. She tells me she does not want it, and I am to buy the shop bread for her in future.

She is the same about pizzas. I make great ones, but she wants the frozen ones from the supermarket.

I dont know what it is with kids and their bad food taste. I have been making home made food all my daughters life, so one would think she would like it more than supermarket copies.

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