Simon Chough a current experienced chef came to BYP in December with a vision of doing cooking sessions with BYP’S gardening team. Simon came to BYP with these words “My vision for cooking class with youths would include an introduction to cooking through cooking a dish from start to finish. It would begin with a brief review of the tools in a kitchen with an emphasis on safety. Then we would proceed.” With Great interest Simon started in the kitchen with the gardening team in no time.
With a set schedule Simon would have until February 7th with us due to his future restaurant soon to be opening in Garfield, which is very exciting for him. Simon spent in the first week coming in 3days and 2 days the second week with the youth as a set schedule until February 7th.
Simons first day with the youth Evelyn and Tayler current garden coordinators figured it would be a great idea to introduce Simon to some ice breakers with our gardening team so it could help Simon learn names and get some bonding experience with the gardening team. The icebreakers really helped break ice and got the gardening team warmed up to Simon in no time.
Simon asked our garden team to envision some things they would like to make in the kitchen with the limited time he had with them. A garden team member Autumn Wilson shoots out with an idea of doing types of pastas or related foods to pasta. As to that idea Simon took no time to show the youth some really neat ways to cooking. Teaching how to use tools and using some neat culinary school techniques along with some code words they use there for certain recipes.
The gardening team made a number of dishes with Simon such as glazed carrots, chicken soup, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, curry pork, pasta noodles with shrimp, fried chicken katsu, grilled pork with home made Asian BBQ sauce, black cod miso, and Spicy cuttle fish.
“Simon taught me how to wash rice and stir it with my hands and put it under cold water. He told me that this would help me to bond and connect with the rice.” – Javon Archie, Gardening team member
Simon at some point decided that he would like to leave BYP with a BANG! He suggested to Evelyn and Tayler he would like to have a BYP dinner starring our gardening team and their cooking skills. The whole gardening team came up with the idea that we would host this event on Simons last day with us February 7th on a Saturday afternoon. Soon after Simon and the gardening team named it the BYP DINNER!
All the cooking the gardening team did really payed off at dinner with really great guest, food, volunteers, and team work. The gardening team was asked what they may have gotten out of this or even what they might have liked best about the experience they has with Simon in the kitchen. Their response feed back was really great!
“ I like being in the kitchen with Simon. He is a very great cook. I like being on the grill the most, but I also really like his lasagna. – JaVaughn , gardening team member
“ I appreciate that Simon came in and taught us how to make many dishes such as lasagna, homemade pasta with shrimp and other different dishes. I thank Simon for all the fun he had in the kitchen and also thank him for teaching us different recipes.” Deon, gardening team member
“I personally love that Simon takes time out of his day to cook with us. I love how he teaches us new cooking styles. He is also a lot of fun.” Autumn, gardening team member
“Cooking with Simon, I learned some new foods and how to do things I never knew how to do before. Simon is a great chef and I believe his business will go very well.” - Keith, Gardening team member
” Making the dough and turning it into pasta was the best lesson that we had with Simon.” – Keith, gardening team member
“I helped Simon with the special dinner last Saturday. We cooked pork, cod fish, and had seaweed and other food. I liked the foods that we made with Simon, I can’t wait until he opens his restaurant in Garfield. My favorite food that we made on the grill was the pork.” - Javon Archie
A count of 35 guest came to the event to taste and feast on some of byps finest dishes they could serve. The dishes that were served at the event was grilled pork w/ marinated bean sprouts, COD miso, cuttle fish and rice, and for desert Green tea mochi with sweet red bean paste and green tea powder. The youth really put hard work into the event as so Simon did as well. The BYP Family Dinner helped the youth raise about $800.00 WOW! I know amazing for just youth such as them self. Their hard work payed off thanks to Simon and the team work that was built over time!
Now that Simon is done with BYP he has moved on to more exciting things. He will be opening up is own bar/restaurant really soon in Garfield. It will be Hawaiian based what sounded like some really great hawaiian food!
Simon told us what he had in store for is resturant with these exact words “My bar/restaurant will feature an eclectic mix of Hawaii’s favorite foods. The restaurant will be called Saimin after Hawaii’s state dish of which I share a name. One of my goals for the restaurant is to provide affordable options as not to price out the existing community.”
BYP really appreciated Simons time he put in with them. He will always be welcome to BYP with open arms, he has certainly marked a place inside BYP. The youth really gained a lot from this experience and learned a lot. This will surely take the gardening team far with cooking in there own cafe. The BYP team says thank you Simon!