The transition to college can be an intimidating time for young people for many reasons, among them the responsibility of navigating a new food landscape.
Inspired by a conversation with the client, the Bon Appétit team at the Medtronic campus in Fridley, MN, came up with the idea to host high-school-age children of Medtronic employees for a crash kitchen course dubbed “Cooking 101 for College- Bound Youth.”
The goal: to show how to prepare a nutritionally balanced meal with common ingredients. Bon Appétit Fellows Carrie Cullen, Sam Martin, and Lily Gross joined the session, excited both to learn and to share their newly acquired wisdom as recent college grads.
Café Manager Dylan Johnson started the class by asking what the phrase “You are what you eat” meant to each attendee. He then gave an overview of the direct effects that foods have on both mental and physical health — for example, eating a donut before an exam may not boost concentration as well as nutrition-packed avocado toast and blueberries.
Executive Chef Royal Dahlstrom took the attendees on a tour of the café and kitchen, went over basic knife skills and kitchen safety, and then showed the students how to chop and prep bell peppers, eggplant, cauliflower, and broccoli. They also learned the best way to destem kale and clean and destem mushrooms. Royal sautéed the finished vegetables in olive oil with black beans and chickpeas and served them on a brown rice and quinoa mixture. The second recipe called for attendees to grab their spiralizers and make “noodles” out of zucchini and yellow squash, and serve with a simple but flavorful tomato sauce. Royal “is a great teacher with a passion for cooking that clearly permeates the kitchen!” wrote one of the grateful students.
At the end of the session, the class sat down together to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They asked the Bon Appétit team questions, shared stories, and talked tricks and tips for preparing healthy meals in the dorm room.
Submitted by Dylan Johnson, Café Manager