Chef Peter and some of the students were featured in a great story in the Oakland Tribune recently. Read story here, with photos.
Today Chef Peter went over the ins and outs of roasting with the KOC cohort. The trainees discussed everything from the importance of caramelization and trussing to oven types and when to add mirapoix.
And what good is roasting without gravy! The cohort learned about how to thicken drippings using a roux, a mixture of fat and flour. Adding the fat is the difference between gravy and dumplings. Why is this? Chef Peter explained and shared some interesting facts about the process of making flour – like that flour is flammable! If you are curious (like I was), watch the video below for the proof!
What do you make when you have buckets full of donated sweet potatoes? Sweet potato croquettes! As Paula says: “I like [cooking in the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen.] … It forces us to be creative, because we are working with donations.”
Below, the trainees begin the process by cutting the sweet potatoes.
Next, the potatoes are roasted, smashed, and chilled overnight in a sheet pan. Then, Paula cuts the sheet of chilled potatoes, dunks the pieces in an egg wash, and rolls them in gingersnaps and panko crumbs.
It’s Back To School for the new cohort of the Kitchen of Champions, which starts today, Tuesday October 1. This will be our 37th Cohort of the program, which started in 2007. There’s always an air of excitement in the Community Center and Dining Room on the first day of school — new faces, new energy, and clean culinary jackets to give out.
Just 11 weeks and 4 days left to go until graduation! Here we go …
Congrats to the 12 graduates of the Cohort 36 who graduated on Thursday, September 19! We are so proud of you and your remarkable achievement in the Kitchen of Champions program! Thank you to Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who presented the keynote address and helped give out awards.
We look forward to the achievements of the next cohort and future cohorts to come. We are all champions!
The Kitchen of Champions cohort is studying hard for their final exam. Follow the link below to see how your culinary knowledge shapes up!
Cohort 36 graduates next week (on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Dining Room). Below are five pictures that capture this amazing Cohort and the Kitchen of Champions experience:
The Kitchen of Champions is an amazing 12 weeks of culinary education, hard work, and reward!
“What’s the most important thing you learn in the Kitchen of Champions Program?” I asked Wayne who was in the back cutting sweet potatoes while the rest of the cohort busily prepared pork ragu, garlic bread, roasted veggies and cranberry OJ for the St. Vincent de Paul’s free dining room.
Graduation for the 36th Cohort will take place on Thursday, September 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Dining Room, 675 23rd Street, Oakland, 94612. All are invited! We celebrate the achievements of our graduating Kitchen of Champions class, as well as our other job-training program, the Champion Workforce transitional employment program.
Our keynote speaker for this class will be Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, whose District 3 includes the West Oakland neighborhood that surrounds our Dining Room and Community Center.
The cohort’s last Cooking Matters class tests all their skills in a friendly competition – Iron Chef! The trainees split into teams, create a recipe, and cook it to perfection.
Below are the final entrees lined up.
At the end, all the trainees received their Cooking Matters certificates of completion. A job well done. Congratulations!