Aspiring chefs test newfound cooking skills
Stephen Manning, 17, learned a few pointers on cooking up the perfect filet mignon from Tuscan Kitchen sous chef William Morin inside the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem Tuesday morning. Ten local teens took part in this summer's Junior Chef program, where he teamed up with the staff at the Tuscan Kitchen restaurant to learn all aspects of the food business. The program culminated in a student-prepared gourmet dinner, with proceeds to benefit upcoming Junior Chef programs. (APRIL GUILMET)
On Tuesday afternoon, the club's upstairs kitchen was buzzing with activity as the members of the new Junior Chef program whipped up a gourmet meal.
Tuesday marked the program's grand finale, and hours before the first guests arrived the young chefs were hard at work chopping vegetables, cooking filet mignon, slicing bread and plating entrees under the watchful eye of executive chef Edward Payne.
After meeting with the club's executive director, Michael Centor, the two men agreed that the club's professional kitchen program had a lot of potential.
While their peers spent days at the beach, some of the apprentice chefs got important life lessons over the summer months.
While they were at it, they also learned a thing or two about budgeting, finances and logistics — all important components in running a successful food business.
"We've forged one beautiful partnership with the Tuscan Kitchen," he said, noting that at least three of this year's program participants are also enrolled in the culinary arts program at Salem High School and have expressed interest in forging a culinary career.
On Tuesday, 30 guests enjoyed the fruits of the junior chefs' labors.
"They pretty much organized everything on their own," Aquino said. "It was pretty awesome to see."
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