Ashburn, Va (September 30, 2015) – Kids like blue food.
You can take an expert’s word for it.
“They go crazy when they see food that is blue,” Willowsford Culinary Advisor Bonnie Moore told a group of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) school nutrition services managers on September 15th, in Willowsford Farm’s demonstration kitchen. Moore, a master chef, taught the cafeteria managers about knife skills and a whole lot more.
Blue food, for instance…
“In my experience kids do like blue food, think tortilla chips. The point is kids like foods that are fun or different. Purple, yellow and pink carrots are fun.”
The secret to cutting the aforementioned vegetables is short, controlled strokes.
“When cutting with a chef knife, the tip of the knife should remain on the cutting board as the wrist makes a continuous circular motion, pushing the knife forward through the food and then pulling it back for the next cut.” You should never hear the knife striking the cutting board. (Striking the cutting board dulls the knife.)
Moore had a tip for knife novices who were making too much noise. “Consistency comes with practice. Take it easy at the beginning and shoot for accuracy. Speed will come.”
Green leafy kale, purple potatoes, white and yellow carrots, eggplant, chili peppers and garlic were some of the vegetables handled during Moore’s tutorial. The experience culminated in stir-fry and curry dishes made with the vegetables and served over rice. (Another Moore tip: stir fry should be in and out of the pan in three minutes.)
The point behind the cooking demonstration was simple, yet powerful. “Mass-produced food and tasty food are not mutually exclusive, but more thought and effort is required.”
The knife skills training is offered to LCPS – free of charge – through the Willowsford Conservancy, which looks for innovative ways to support community initiatives that improve wellness. Moore said she was pleased to have the opportunity to work with LCPS Supervisor of School Nutrition Services Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays and her staff.
School Nutrition Services partnered last spring with Willowsford Farms to develop signature spice blends that are now being used in recipes on school menus.