Everyone nowadays has gotten inspired watching MasterChef Australia and even more so watching their Jr. versions. We wonder, “Are these kids really cooking?” And if yes, then who is doing their plating? How are they so fluent in the Culinary world at such a young age!? Only after a little digging, we found out that these kids actually go to Culinary Schools (in UK and Australia), hence the professional touch. Children who love to cook are taking up these courses so they can secure a future in the industry. And what happens in India, you ask? Well at a young age of 6 maybe 7, parents push their children to take up IIT courses, strict acting and dancing classes or are buying them fancy expensive *ss video games, which interferes with the natural process of learning. Having said that we recently learned about the Trident at BKC who have introduced the concept called the Li’l Chefs program. This program brings about an awareness in children, regarding culinary skills that can come handy in the future. Here Chefs from the Industry conduct classes and teach them simple recipes (Maybe season-based or at random.) We were invited to check out the Li’l Bakers edition of the same, and here is our account of the this “little” day out.
We strongly believe in encouragement of this form when it comes to teaching kids and on being invited by Aniketh D’souza we were all in! This is what is needed such that the kids of the current generation get a little sneak peak into the Culinary World. He told us that the Trident, Bandra Kurla is conducting a workshop for kids aged 8 to 14 years, called Trident “Li’l Bakers” workshop which was on 13th December, 2014 between 4pm – 6pm. Since it was a Christmas theme, children would be baking Christmas goodies which included Chocolate Yule Logs and Ginger Bread Cookies. This workshop was the third one out of a Six workshop package, for which the kids had to pay 1800++ . If interested in the entire course, with a certificate included, it can cost you around Rs. 10,000.
The sessions are held at Bottocino, which is an Italian restaurant at the Trident, where up to 25 kids can easily fit. We were told by Alisha Rampal (Assistant F&B operations Manager) that generally they get around 17-18 children per session, but since it’s the holiday season the numbers were reduced to 7. The kids had already started rolling out their Marzipan in which they were going to place a piped Chocolate Ganache Mix. It was really nice to see the Chefs helping out the kids while tiny little hands rolled, mixed their dough. They explained the dish, recipes and their significance during Christmas, to the kids. Yes, the kids did seem a little shy because we were clicking their pictures and calling them “Cute,” but we feel a little more energy and encouragement from the Chefs would do great things to the childrens’ confidence.
The kids were busy painting their Logs with melted chocolate and Alisha started talking to us as to how this concept came about. Most of the children who signed up were there because their parents are either members or were guests at the Trident. Although this program is designed purely to help kids acquire culinary skills independently, parents sometimes take the liberty to suggest themes and contribute to the sessions by guiding kids to perform techniques in the correct manner and learn a few tricks themselves, while they are at it.
The Ginger Bread cookies was the second item that was made by these talented kids, that evening. This included them making a dough with Butter, Sugar, Egg, Flour, Ginger powder and Cinnamon. Looking at them making the cookie dough, you could make out they had been doing this for a while. Very neat job. The dough was made fast, rolled and cut into various Christmas shaped cookies and set on the trays ready for baking. While the cookies were baking and the Yule Logs cooling, there was small Hi-Tea spread for the kids, where they could eat, relax and talk to their parents about the experience they just went through.
This initiative that the Trident has taken up, is one that will help the children not only to be interested in the Culinary world but it will also boost their confidence in their day to day activities. It had been a while since we had seen kids genuinely doing something productive and different other than just playing on their iPads and endlessly watching chota bheem. It was evident the cooking/baking sessions were working their magic as excited kids rushed towards their baked goodies once they were fresh out of the oven! A very refreshing experience it was for us as well!
Children between the age groups of 8-14 years can register for the workshop by calling Alisha Rampal on 99206 05885 or email email@example.com. We think this is one session you must send your children for, as it’ll help them develop a new hobby, give them a brief of the Hospitality world and give them something to brag about when they went back to school, the next day 😛
Recipe of the Ginger Bread Cookie that the Children made:
Refined Flour (Maida): 150g
Unsalted Butter: 50g
Castor Sugar: 30g
Baking Soda: 3g
Ginger Powder: 5g
Cinnamon Powder: 3g
Nutmeg Powder: 2g
Clove Powder: 2g
1) Cream Butter and Sugar.
2) Add Eggs and Honey till the mixture is combined
3) Gradually add Flour and the other dry ingredients.
4) Roll out the dough to the thickness required and cut into shapes using cutters.
5) bake at 170 degree Celsius for 12 minutes.
6) Cool and decorate.