Queensborough kids recently squared off in a neighbourhood cookoff and demonstrated some impressive skills in the kitchen.
Queensborough Community Centre, in partnership with community youth, Queensborough Middle School and staff, and Queensborough Special Programs Committee, hosted a neighbourhood cookoff on June 13.
“We had some youths that are pretty skilled with their cooking skills,” said Bryce Abbott, recreation leader – youth services. “The thing I was most impressed with was they started off with their cooking and they went right to it like they knew what they were doing. They were practising safe cooking procedures, right up to their plating and taking the time to make a nice presentation and make sure it looked good. They had to utilize all the ingredients they had to use.”
Abbott said the idea arose after two 12-year-old boys approached him with an idea of doing a Master Chef-style competition. With Abbott’s help, the boys applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation.
“We had meetings prior to the event with the students that were interested in participating in the event,” he said. “They came up with various ingredients, so we had all those ingredients on hand. Then they had a mystery ingredient. It was something like bran flakes or Doritos – something goofy the kids picked. It was pretty funny to see them utilize that as well. They knew their main ingredients, but the mystery ingredient was a surprise the day of.”
The four groups of two participants created a variety of pasta and rice dishes, salads and smoothies.
“What else? I guess, a plate of Doritos. That was kind of funny,” Abbott said. “The main base ingredients were either a rice or pasta. They went from there using vegetables and meats,” Abbott said. “They were anywhere from Grade 5 to 7. That’s why I was surprised with their skills in the kitchen. It was fun seeing their confidence and enthusiasm walking around the kitchen and knowing what they were doing.”
The event was such a success that organizers have already talked about making it an annual event.
“I think the best part of it was that we had so many different partnerships going on. We had various generations supporting it, right from the youth participants to the parents coming out, to the PAC members, to some of our youth staff,” Abbott said. “It was a really positive neighbourhood event.”
This story originally appeared in: http://www.newwestrecord.ca/community/queensborough-kids-impress-judges-…

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