Slow Food teaches kids to cook from scratch
BACHELOR GULCH – Ever read the ingredients on a box of mac and cheese? Do you know there’s not one spec of cheese in it? That’s just one of the shocking tidbits Chef Richard McCreadie of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch had for the kids from Vail Valley Adventure Camp. Fortunately for the kids, they weren’t asked to consume it – and they didn’t want to. Chef McCreadie whipped up some fresh pasta with fabulous real cheese which served as the first course in a succession of taste treats that allowed the kids to compare the fresh food to the processed variety.
All eyes were wide open when the fresh organic chicken nuggets were passed around – quickly followed by fresh pasta and tomato sauce, fresh poached fruit and custard, and vegetables that didn’t come out of a can. One of the young men asked if you had to murder the bread to provide it fresh to the table. Another smiling participant was happy to report that the fresh vanilla used in the custard smelled like sunscreen. The kids camps, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on July 18 were the first events for the newly formed Slow Food U.S.A Vail Valley Convivium’s education committee. Chef started the program with a tour of the hotel kitchens which included the various temperatured walk-in coolers, the detailing of the room service carts and … the intricate works of the pastry and dessert chefs replete with the most yummy smells this side of the chocolate factory. Slow Food member Patsy Batchelder was on hand for the older kids session presented on July 20.
“When the demonstration began, the kids were initially excited about the soda pop, pudding in plastic cups and mac and cheese in a box that were on the table,” Batchelder said. “That is until Chef McCreadie had them read the long list of ingredients that the processed foods were laden with, and then turned them on to fresh, homemade versions of each. They couldn’t get enough. I’ve never seen young kids be so willing to try fresh fruits and vegetable”Chef McCreadie and The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch helped the education committee step up to the plate with our first project. Next up are the social event and field trip committees which are combining their efforts for some mushroom hunting, organic peach farm touring – and glorious consumption events for the aforementioned. Education’s team is getting started on the creation of a garden at Red Sandstone Elementary School.
Slow Food, founded in 1986 by shocked Italian Carlo Petrini after the McDonald’s franchise opened their doors in Piazza Spagna, is an international organization with over 80,000 members active in 50 countries. The network of shared ideas is amazing in today’s “fast world” – as well as encouraging.Think it sounds fun? Come check it out. We encourage anyone interested to come to a meeting or two, and see for themselves. You can call Deb at the Vail Symposium should you have questions, or log on to http://www.slowfoodusa.org . Hope to see you there. Until then – happy slowness!Vail Colorado