Amy Pearl made a great video about The Cooking Room for The New York Times education blog SchoolBook. In the video, called "Learning to Taste", chef and P.S. 3 parent Zak Pelaccio takes a classroom full of kindergarten students through the "Sour" lesson of our curriculum. Check it out, below, to get a taste of a typical lesson and to see the priceless reactions of kindergarteners tasting limes.
The chef Zakary Pelaccio teaches future foodies how to taste. His students are armed with cutting boards and knives."Curl your fingers under like a claw," the chef instructs. "Then you're going to cut slowly, sawing back and forth." Fingers curl into claws and little hands brandish tiny plastic knives. After all, these cooking students are still in kindergarten. Read more.
 
 
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Using cucumber slices to taste different types of salt.

"Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt."
- George Herbert, English poet

This week was our first classroom lesson with our new curriculum! The topic was salt, which proved to be a great way to introduce the concept of five basic tastes along with a bit of the science and history behind the mineral. Meadow, a salt and chocolate shop in the neighborhood, donated an array of great salts, like Kauai Guava Smoked and Molokai red and kids tasted each type of salt on cucumber slices while learning where salt comes from, what it does in food, and how your body uses it.

Then, the class whipped up a big batch of mashed potatoes and the kids used the salts to season their own bowls of mashed potatoes, tasting the difference as they added salt. When chef/instructor Julie Negrin asked the kids how these mashed potatoes compared to other mashed potatoes they have eaten, all the kids agreed that these were "MUCH better!" When she asked "Why?" they called out "Because we made them OURSELVES!"

Click on "Read More" to get the recipe for mashed potatoes we made in class.
 
 

The first class with our new curriculum is coming up in a couple of weeks and we're getting excited! We'll be posting recipes and info from the lesson on this site, so stay tuned... Can't take the anticipation? Here are some behind-the-scenes snapshots of The Cooking Room facilities to tide you over.