Wealth derived from the community should be reinvested locally. Investments should be made in both the present and the future. All people have potential, and every person has a role in strengthening the community. You are a vital member of the L.A. Kitchen community and your support will change lives today and into the future!

 

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Empower L.A. Weeks Three and Four: In the Kitchen and Around the World

on September 8 | in News & Updates, Uncategorized | by | with No Comments

An ambitious lesson plan featuring a variety of grains, pastas, legumes, stocks, and sauces was presented to Empower L.A. students during Week 3 of the program.

And while any other class of students may have faltered with the intimidation of such a vast agenda, Empower L.A. Class Four students rose admirably to the challenge, continuing to impress everyone here at L.A. Kitchen with their enthusiasm and excitement.

 

Chef advocate trainees cooking up a pot of farro risotto

 

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Roasted Brussels sprouts and flakes of Parmesan cheese atop a blanket of farro risotto

 

Chef advocate trainees Jesus and Esther creating a silky smooth Beschamel sauce

Chef advocate trainees Jesus and Esther creating a silky smooth hollandaise sauce

 

On Wednesday, we welcomed into our kitchen Executive Chef Kajsa Alger from Susan Feniger’s restaurant Mudhen Tavern. Chef Kajsa delivered a riveting guest chef lesson, during which she taught students how to assemble a beautiful and creative dish featuring walnut chorizo tostadas, refried beans, avocado salsa, and fresh cheese.

 

Chef Kajsa Alger

Chef Kajsa Alger and her assistant making fresh cheese, surrounded by captivated Empower L.A. students

 

Legendary L.A. Times food columnist Russ Parsons toured the kitchen, attended Guest Chef Kajsa’s engaging lesson, and spoke with several of the most integral members of the L.A. Kitchen team in order to share with readers the inside scoop on L.A. Kitchen’s work in the community. (Read Mr. Parson’s article here: “How L.A. Kitchen does it all, from fighting food waste to training workers and feeding seniors”)

Week 4 transported students to the far-off tastes of Ethiopia, the Middle East, and Mexico. Students were pushed outside their comfort zones as they learned how to cook and prepare exotic dishes that many of them had never even heard of, let alone tasted.

We kicked off our module on ethnic and vegetarian cuisine with an Ethiopian lunch lesson led by Lead Chef Instructor Carrie Hildebrand. With Chef Carrie’s assistance, chef advocate trainees created a series of vibrant and colorful dishes, including Ethiopian lentils and collard greens (misrwat and gomenwat), braised cabbage, potatoes, and carrots (atakilt wat), and vegetable sambusas with cilantro chutney.

An assortment of Middle Eastern delicacies sent our taste buds humming mid-week, and our world travels concluded with a dip into Mexican cuisine on Friday.

 

Cauliflower quesadillas with rajas, quinoa and black bean salad, grilled corn salad, and fresh salsas

Cauliflower quesadillas with rajas, quinoa and black bean salad, grilled corn salad, and fresh salsas. In regards to this beautiful dish, L.A. Kitchen founder Robert Egger expresses his enthusiasm: “We can make thousands of meals like this every day for people in Los Angeles…This is a classic look of what we want to produce.”

 

We invited Heirloom L.A. founders Matt Poley and Tara Maxey into the kitchen for our Week 4 Guest Chef presentation. During an interesting and informative lesson, Executive Chef Matt taught students how to create a beautiful tartine dish using fresh garlic bread, saffron bechamel sauce, sweet and sour onions, and melted cheese. (Check out Heirloom L.A.’s blog post on their L.A. Kitchen experience!)

 

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Chef Matt speaking with the students during his guest presentation

 

A close up of the beautiful tartines, fresh out of the oven

A close up of the beautiful tartines, fresh out of the oven

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