With limited outdoor activities, we would like to whole-heartedly endorse cooking as a family activity. When you want to get busy in the kitchen, check with an adult to see if it is a good time to cook or set up a time to cook with the family.
At Project CHEF we believe in setting people up for success and we want you to become confident, safe cooks. To help you do this, we are sharing our top tips for successful cooking.
GETTING READY TO COOK
Read a recipe all the way through. Have you got the equipment you need? Have you got the ingredients you need? Do you have enough time to make the recipe?
Take stock of what is in your pantry then make a list of ingredients you need. Ask whoever is shopping at this time if they may shop for these ingredients.
A clean cook is a safe cook! Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water before you begin to cook and many times while cooking.
Put an apron on.
It will protect you from food and will protect the food from what may be on you.
Tie back your hair and roll up your sleeves so that they don’t end up in your food.
Set out the equipment that you will need for the recipe.
Set out the ingredients you will need before you begin to cook. Check to see if some ingredients need to be at room temperature to cook with (for example, butter). Does the oven need to be turned on?
Too short to reach the counter? Stand on a non-slip stool to put you at the right height. Stand up when cooking. Chefs are too busy to sit down.
Put a damp paper towel underneath your cutting board to stop it from slipping. You don’t want to be chasing your cutting board around the counter while cutting. It’s not safe.
LETS GET COOKING
Follow the recipe method step-by-step. You will have to read the method to know what to do and you will have to read the ingredient list to know how much of an ingredient you will need. You have to bounce back and forth a bit so it’s a different way of reading.
If you are unsure about how to do something or have difficulty, ask an adult to help you. Use knives and stovetop only with adult supervision.
Keep yourself organized and clean as you go. We follow the rule of a restaurant kitchen and that means having your mise en place for cooking, a French term for having everything in its place.
Clean up after cooking as it’s an important part of the job. Do the dishes. We have found that this is often a favourite task with our students. Leave the kitchen tidy so you will be allowed to cook again another day.
Take some time to reflect on your cooking experience. The best way to become a better cook is to cook and reflect on what you did.Write your reflections in your Food Journal. Some questions to guide your reflection:
How did it go with cooking this recipe?
What was your favourite part of making this recipe?
Was there a step or skill you had trouble with? How can you improve at this?
Would you make this recipe again?
How would you rate this recipe out of 10?
Would you make any changes to the recipe if you made it again?
What did your family think about your cooking?
How do you feel about what you made and sharing it with others?
What will you cook next time? Make a plan for your next cooking adventure.