“Cooking as Art” is a beloved part of DNDA’s Summer Youth Program (SYP) in the High Point community. Not only do youth participants learn how to cook dishes from all around the world, they also get to try many foods they’ve never had before.
DNDA’s “Cooking as Art” classes are designed for youth to practice basic cooking skills with quality ingredients and professional instruction. In these classes youth learn about nutrition and healthy eating, and the skills that participants learn in class allow them to practice cooking new, tasty dishes with their families at home.
Chef Mulu Abate led the cooking classes that were held at the High Point Neighborhood House, and dishes ranged from sushi to sambusas. Classes took place once a week, and every session was full of youth who were excited to learn and try something new. “Cooking as Art” participants learned how to properly cut vegetables, how to check if their meat is fully cooked and other skills they can use while cooking at home.
High Point youth made homemade pasta and nachos, and even had a cake decorating contest. Occasionally the class hosted a guest teacher who came with knowledge of different cuisines and exciting new recipes to try. One of these guest teachers were Seattle-renowned Chef Jemil, who gave High Point youth an additional glimpse of the culinary world and taught them how to make his chicken in cream sauce recipe.
The “Cooking as Art” class was successful because youth gained hands-on experience with cooking, an important life skill. The program opened many doors for youth to help their parents in the kitchen at home, including new recipes for family meals. This class also demonstrated the culinary career path, which many High Point youth may not have considered otherwise.
We ate, we enjoyed each other’s company and we all helped clean up the mess in the end. DNDA cannot thank Chefs Mulu, Nicholas and Jemil enough for their patience and help in this program. We could not have provided such a wonderful program without them and their willingness to share their culinary expertise.
Written by Molly Duttry, High Point SYP Coordinator