By Michael Kurshan-Emmer
Last Friday May 8th, 2015 saw 10 parent participants from the Safe Passage program take part in the first installment of Chef Monica Hayes’ Tasteful Manners healthy cooking class. Parent University participants from the Safe Passage programs at Clemente Community Academy and Wells Community Academy have participated in mini-courses in Digital Video through the Grace Media Group, African Drumming through Holy Goat percussion, and now Tasteful Manners healthy cooking class with Chef Monica Hayes. The Tasteful Manners mini-course is scheduled to run every Friday morning for the next five weeks at Parent University on the 3rd floor of Clemente Community Academy.
At the onset of the class, Chef Hayes spoke with parent participants about their diets, what they commonly eat at home, what they commonly enjoy cooking, and where they go grocery shopping. She made the point that each of the ingredients in her recipes can be purchased at local stores. At this point in the class, the founder of Tasteful Manners went on to provide creative ways in which to use healthy alternatives in common recipes, and emphasized that she does not use salt in the preparation of her dishes.
Chef Hayes then introduced the first recipe of the class, a Thai recipe for chicken sate with a tantalizing peanut sauce and a delicious cucumber onion salad. Chef Hayes took the parent participants through each step of the recipe, going into some detail on each ingredient and answering questions and responding to comments. Once the dish was completed and participants began to eat and enjoy the Thai delicacy, Chef Hayes began to take suggestions for next week’s dish. The participants of the mini-course finally decided on a Tilapia dish, and were excited to get their minds and hands into next Friday’s recipe!
Chef Monica Hayes-Jones is a pastry chef and the CEO and President of Tasteful Manners NFP. Tasteful Manners was founded out of Chef Monica’s disappointment concerning the poor diet choices and lack of manners today’s youth exhibit.