Activity 2: Young Cooks and Black History Series
This young cooks activity program that starts after MLK birthday and is held periodically throughout the year, as the program matures we will add additional dates and resources . The program is divided in two segments, in segment 1, teens prepare a meal under the supervision of Chef Charles Young. Chef Charles’ instruction in meal preparation includes food and kitchen safety, proper techniques for cutting, chopping, handling and cooking food, the importance of taste appeal, nutritional balance, and attractive food presentation. Teens must also properly set tables and serve the food they prepare. In segment 2, includes an informative Black history film presentation and dinner, served in a dinner theater setting. During this time teens practice what they have learned about waiting tables, including the proper side to serve food and to remove dishes from a table. They also have an opportunity for instruction in Black history facts. Currently held on Saturday's the schedule for the workshops are 4 pm to 6 pm workshop for the teens that includes food preparation and upscale dinning setup. Part 2 is the serving of the dinner and the movie and the interactive discussions.
The Black History Series is an alternative activity that targets socially and economically disadvantaged youth and their families who are most often at risk for destructive social behavior and unhealthy eating habits. The primary focus is to increase health protective factors among youth who live in an area that is a designated food desert. Residents have access to numerous fast food outlets but no easy access to wholesome nutritious food. Unemployment and underemployment make meeting the financial demands of daily life so challenging that nutritious food is often sacrificed. Several churches in the area and the Rose Hill community center offer food closets and hot meals on different days of the week. However, acquiring food in this manner, often deprives young people of the experience of thoughtfully planning and preparing wholesome well-balanced meals. Without intervention, these factors can lead to childhood obesity and associated health challenges for families. The absence of family meal time leaves little opportunity for instructions in etiquette.
This teen cooking class provides an opportunity to promote healthy eating, proper meal preparation, and instruction in etiquette. The dinner theater setting in which the class is conducted provides participants with a real life experience.