Last night, the youth in our Rights of Passage (ROP) Program were thrilled to have a private cooking class with Canada's Next Top Chef Winner Chef Matt Stowe. Our ROP program provides young people with transitional living support while they are working and/or going to school. Offering lifeskills training, such as cooking on a budget, is a vital component to the program's success.
Chef Stowe volunteered his time to come in and teach the youth how to produce 3 healthy dishes from one whole chicken. On the menu was:
Chicken salad sandwiches
Chicken rice soup
Penne with chicken, bacon and peas
As Chef Stowe explained, a whole chicken costs about $9 and from that, the youth can produce 3 meals for about as much as a fast food meal would cost. Healthy, cost effective and delicious, the 3 chicken dishes were prepared last night by the youth in our ROP kitchen. Chef Stowe also provided some helpful kitchen tips including:
- When boiling water for pasta, add so much salt that the water tastes like the ocean (this adds flavor to the pasta while it's cooking)
- Stuff the chicken with some rosemary or other herb prior to cooking to infuse the bird with wonderful flavor and aroma
- Instant flavoured oatmeal is a great ingredient for any kind of fruit cobbler
The young people really enjoyed themselves and took to the cooking like naturals. Sitting down when the meal was completed was a highlight for me – the food was amazing and the youth were justifiably proud and impressed by what they had helped prepare.
Thank you to Chef Matt Stowe for his generous spirit and his gift of time and expertise and also to the Cactus Club for providing all of the ingredients for the wonderful meal.
See the CTV Morning Live Coverage and Vancouver Sun article.
Photo credit: Mark van Manen, PNG