Here’s what the Silver Spring Maker Faire had to say about Young Chefs:
In Chef Sheila Crye’s Young Chefs program, culinary expertise requires more than the ingredients listed on a recipe. To cook with Crye is to cook with an eye for nutrition, several tablespoons of cooperation, and a few dashes of patience.
Based in Montgomery County, Maryland, Young Chefs is an after-school youth culinary education program where the techniques, tools, and recipes for healthy cooking are made memorable and—much to the young participants’ surprise—delectable. The kitchen becomes a one-on-one and one-of-a-kind classroom where participants learn how to create and dictate their own nutritious meals. With increasing rates of obesity among youth and “food deserts” in low- income areas, Young Chefs is a critical and accessible introduction to cooking that Chef Crye hopes will dispel the misconceptions about healthy food.
In Young Chefs, cooking is not only a matter of your taste buds, but also a matter of your mind. Crye’s culinary courses are a practical supplement to science and math courses of study. Recipes are multiplied and divided using fractions, math concepts of measurements and weights are used to organize ingredients, and even surface tension can be demonstrated through meringues and soufflés.
After school programs such as Young Chefs give students the opportunity to confidently explore their interests and learn skills that are applicable to life outside of the classroom and beyond the books.
“Think of cooking as a life skill,” Crye declared. “Especially when you’re cooking in a group, you learn to cooperate with people who are different from you… there are all sorts of social studies connections with culinary history. With international cuisines, you better understand people from other backgrounds, their holidays, and how trade influences eating patterns. There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom when you’re studying cooking.”