With a total of 31 elementary school boys.
I recently joined the staff of La Petite Cuillere, an after-school program currently offered at the Town School in San Francisco. On Mondays and Tuesdays, founder Sandy Marie and her little "sous chefs" travel to a new country (stamped passports and all!) and explore not only the culinary aspects of the region, but the history, geography, and culture as well.
On the menu was a simple empanada - but from this seemingly innocent snack, we were able to introduce these young, budding cooks to new flavors and spices like cumin and paprika, all the while discussing topics from gauchos and the thriving Argentinian beef industry to the origins of salt. Rolling the dough, chopping the vegetables and crimping edges with the tines of their forks, each student took an active role in producing his pastry pocket.
Food can be a powerful tool when used correctly - and these early risers are the proof.