Rested and fueled on Cool Brew (our favorite form of liquid caffeine while we’re traveling in the city), day three was out of the gate with a trip to the Crescent City Farmers Market. The Uptown location was bursting at the seams and stalls overflowed with peaches, bok choi and berries. The crew happily made their way back to the vans with long beans and tiny plums in tow.
Inspired by the market bounty, we landed at the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans ready to begin our mise en place. April, the school’s chef/forager, had everything we needed to get the “Edible Field Day” underway.
The teams had a little under two hours to transform the raw ingredients and outdoor garden space into activity centers for the students. The 90 5th/6th grade students we worked with had not yet had the opportunity to fully experience the garden so we were tasked with not only making the afternoon tasty but educational as well.
Each station incorporated the basic tenets of their unit lessons. With limited resources but with magical impact, Thomas, Sharon and Leslie created an Ancient Roman home. Their acting abilities certainly matched their culinary skills as they played the parts of lounging senator, diligent wife and hand-washing slave. The students were truly captivated by the information and wooed by the traditional foods of the Roman mensa.
Francisco and Annie were tasked with recreating an Ancient Greek marketplace or Agora. They quickly captivated their crowd with foreign foods that “actually tasted good.”
Kate and Jeremy presented a game of medieval whimsy as they led a rousing game of “False or Feast”…a food-centric pictionary game with an historical edge. If the teams guessed six drawings correctly, they won a chance to create (and devour!) their own mini-peach tart.
Irma, Jeff and Sandy brought science to life as they explained the concept of cooking with steam (and the health benefits of cooking without oil) by demonstrating dumpling making. Each student had a chance to hand fold a few and nibble a couple with the homemade ponzu sauce.
Every chef was blown away by the enthusiasm, energy and kindness of the students, teachers and staff we worked with. When asked at the end of the day what is something that they learned from this event, one young girl said “that you should never be afraid to try something new.” We couldn’t agree more.
The day came to a close with po’boys, snowballs and an impromptu glass blowing demonstration…you just never know what New Orleans will throw at you! And that’s exactly why we love it.