5 Ways You Know It's the First Week of Kitchen All Stars

Last week, we kicked off another year of Kitchen All Stars at Brainfood.  Of course, every year is different: new students, new volunteers, new recipes, and lots more. But at the same time, there are some aspects of Brainfood that hearken back to years past and feel as familiar as a worn-in sweater or a favorite rerun. It's wonderful to see those tell-tale signs that Kitchen All Stars is starting up again, and that it looks more or less like they did last year. Because as exciting as it is to experience fresh starts and new beginnings ripe with possibility, it's just as special to see what stays the same. We put together a list of some snapshots from class last week that exemplify those classic Kitchen All Stars first week moments. 

 1. Students are reading their recipes very closely.

 As teachers, we love to see two teens tracking the steps of the recipe with their fingertips! This kind of careful attention is especially necessary early in the program. 

2. Ingredients are precisely measured out in individual bowls.

This is new to many of our students, and it can be a bit tedious to separate every item out. It means more dishes to wash, more tasks to complete before seeing the batter come together, and more coordination with group members to avoid duplication. It's worth it though, when it leads to delicious results!

3. We're creating new Group Expectations posters.
These documents guide our community the whole year, so creating them on the first day is extremely important. We rely on student voice to shape the tone of the class, and every year the youth participants come up with an amazing list!

4. Students are learning about new ingredients. 

It's wonderful to watch teens learn about items in the kitchen that they may not have seen before: sniffing buttermilk and realizing it's supposed to smell sour, watching food coloring transform the color of a Red Velvet Cookie batter, or discussing powdered sugar vs. granulated sugar.

5. Food is portioned out equally for everyone in the class

The first time we plate food "the Brainfood way" is a beautiful moment --  participants realize that everyone will get a fair portion of each recipe, and they eagerly take on quality control in the equal distribution of food across the plates. Once we guarantee that every plate looks identical, it's time to dig in!  


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