When I visited the kitchen at Lafayette Elementary School last week, I expected to see children at work. I’ve seen children as young as 8 years old chop vegetables in cooking programs (usually, with butter knives), so it’s not as if I were shocked to see kids cooking.
But the scene at the Lafayette kitchen made an impression from the moment I stepped in the door. The hustle and bustle, the professionalism, the poise under pressure. (I was also addressed as “ma’am” when I daftly stood between the door and a boy lugging a large container of food.)
Lafayette’s principal, Benjamin Redmond, says he wishes similar cooking clubs could take root at other schools. The well-trained and committed group of fifth-graders (with one third-grade exception) move onto middle school next year, where — as of now — they are unlikely to find a similar opportunity to develop their skills.
photo by Tribune staff photographer/videographer Aric Crabb