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CCB gets healthy cooking tips

Catherine C. Blackwell Institute  students

Left to right: Students Destiny Reese, Kyara Davis, Camille Richardson, Jia Davis, Nashia Wilkerson and Taija Nelson-Max

By Puakea Olaisha Anderson
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Students at Catherine C. Blackwell Institute (CCB) received lessons in healthy cooking during a six-week partnership.

The purpose of the program was to teach the students the importance of eating healthier, as well as nutrition, kitchen safety and how to prepare affordable meals.

Chefs David and Celeste Ivey taught students in grades K-8 how to add spices for flavorful meals, make vegetables and prepare breakfast foods. For the first five weeks of class the students prepared veggie burgers. And on the last day of class they created a full meal for themselves.

“I had fun and the food was okay,” said Camille Richardson, “I learned a lot from both of the chefs.” The students watched a documentary about how meat is processed and how to pick vegetables.

Chef Celeste shared the importance of creating a healthier lifestyle and how being exposed is the key to eating healthy. “I think the exposure is the word here — exposing students to new ways to think about food, how it is processed, and I encouraged them to look at their ingredients,” said Chef Celeste Ivey. Eighth grader Nashia Wilkerson was deemed grand prizewinner for retaining the most information throughout the six-week program.

“We chose her to win a prize because she was attentive and retained the information really well,” Chef Celeste said. “She will receive a gift card to Meijer or a Whole Food’s Store to show her our appreciation for her efforts,” Ivey says.

On the last day of class, Wilkerson was awarded her grand prize and the students prepared a full meal for their families.

“I learned that there is a lot of food out there that is not healthy for us and I learned new ways to make vegetables and make them good, because I do not like vegetables,” said Wilkerson. “They taught me a way to make vegetables good. I made salsa the other day at home and it was good. I am happy that the chefs came to teach us to eat more healthy. I had the opportunity to learn something new.”

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