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Detroit, MI, 48207
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Cooking Matters Michigan

Empowering families with the skills, confidence and knowledge to prepare healthy and affordable meals

Filtering by Tag: chef

Volunteer Spotlight: Dawn Claybrooks

Rebecca Blauw

at her graduation from culinary schoolTell me about yourself and/family I am the baby of my parents’ 4 children. I have always cooked with my mom she has been the inspiration for my current culinary career.

Why did you get into the culinary world?

I began my culinary career due to becoming severely bored with my current automotive job. I wanted to live my dream as opposed to living someone else’s dream. I love food as well as health awareness and with my mother getting older I wanted to help her to eat healthier, and live longer

You are my one-time demo queen (or rockstar as Ariana would say). What makes you enjoy demos so much?

I enjoy demos because it gives me the chance to teach people that may not normally think eating healthy can taste good.

What led you to Cooking Matters?

There was a demo done by Cooking Matters at my job a couple years ago and I inquired about getting to do cooking demos. The guy that was doing the demo was very uncooperative so I took to the internet and googled Cooking Matters and met Dorothy Hernandez and she helped me to begin my Cooking Matters volunteering. I have been a volunteer since March 2012 and I have done 2 of the 6 week classes (at the same time): 1 class on Tuesday a families class and a kids class on Wednesday with Tamara Landazuri and it was a totally awesome experience. (Dawn has also done almost all of the one-time events we have had this summer- Vani)

Do you have a highlight from a Cooking Matters class?

At the end of my CM kids class the graduation ceremony, as the students received their chef hats, they requested that I sign their hats and it was so awesome to me that those children wanted me to be a part of their ceremony. I shed so many tears that day (tears of joy of course).

What do you do in your spare time?

I am currently trying to create recipes for a cook book that I plan to write in the future while I build a catering business and continue to volunteer for Cooking Matters.

Do you have a cheap healthy recipe you can share with us?

Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients: 1 Pineapple medium diced 1 Jalepeno pepper (or to taste) 1 Red bell peper 1/2 Tbs. Honey

Directions: Peel & dice pineapple. Finely dice jalepeno pepper removing seeds and veins (unless you want it really hot). Medium dice red bell pepper. Mix all fruits and veggies together in a bowl, then add honey and chill.

I like to use and organic blue corn chip to eat with this salsa

The total cost to buy the ingredients isabout $6, which ends up being about 63 cents per serving.

Volunteer spotlight: Rohani Foulkes

dorothy hernandez

As a child, Rohani Foulkes would go to the farmers market with her family, $5 in hand and a curious mind. She says she and her brother would be free to walk around and buy whatever they wanted. "I distinctly remember loving that place, the smells, the vendors and all of their produce and I especially loved the smell of our home when we’d unpack our bounty of things such as fresh cilantro, basil and lemonade fruit home," says Rohani.

Her love of cooking, sharing and eating is apparent as she teaches a group of women at St. John Riverview Senior Wellness Center, where she is volunteering for a Cooking Matters for Adults class.

The chef and teacher answered a few questions for us about her plans and her thoughts on her new hometown, Detroit.

You came to Michigan from Australia. Are you originally from there? Can you take us through your journey from Down Under to the Great Lakes State?

A snowball fight brought me here actually. I met my now husband in 2010 when I came out to the U.S. to work with the United Nations, Education outreach division in New York City. I initially lived in a little studio in Chelsea then thanks to a chance encounter moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I was out with a friend one night and while walking down Bedford Avenue copped a snowball and that’s how we met. So, after two years of flying 10,000 miles at 24 hours every few months we finally decided to settle on his hometown here in Detroit.

Now that you are a Michiganian, what are your plans, career wise? Do you have plans to open a restaurant or some other type of food-related business? I think that no matter where you are in the world it’s important to understand that place in that time and I think that Detroit needs skilled people willing to share skills and empower others to do good things and in turn contribute to their community. Something I’ve quickly come to understand about Detroit are the very many community members enthusiastically working to rejuvenate the city and empower its people. Something interestingly organic to Detroit is the greening and urban farming movement and I’d love to learn as much as I can about this. I'm a chef by trade and more recently a high school teacher and I’d like to combine these skills, working in collaboration with other local organizations/businesses to offer vocational training in my own kitchen someday.

How and when did you get interested in cooking? I have ALWAYS been interested in cooking, it was the first and only thing I wanted to do for the first two decades of my life and I still love it. When I was little my mother would take my little brother and I to the local farmers markets every weekend. We would be given a grand total of $5 each and be free to stroll around and buy what ever we liked. I distinctly remember loving that place, the smells, the vendors and all of their produce and I especially loved the smell of our home when we’d unpack our bounty of things such as fresh cilantro, basil and lemonade fruit home. I love markets, I love food, I love cooking, eating and sharing.

What is your education and experience in the culinary arts? I started out by making little treats for my family and moved into a full-blown trade apprenticeship when I was 15. I worked at a number of restaurants, hotels and cafes but probably the most fun was a resort island in the Great Barrier Reef off the north coast of Australia. Probably the most confronting thing I ever came across in a cookery sense was seeing an enormous sea turtle and Dugong (I believe you call Manatee) being slaughtered for a ceremonial feast in the Torres Strait Islands, an indigenous tribe off the very tip of Australia, which is where my mother is from.

Why did you decide to volunteer for Cooking Matters? That’s a pretty simple answer, because I can. As I mentioned prior, I think it’s vital in any situation to contribute, I have skills to share and the time to offer and from what I understand that’s as good as gold in this situation. As a newbie to the city I also think it’s important to get out and about and involved with the community you’re a part of.

Is there a specific moment or highlight from a class you have done so far that is most memorable to you? The women who make up the class at St John’ Riverview Senior Wellness Center … have been lighting up my Wednesdays for the past 5 weeks. They’re genuinely interested and engaged in what they’ve signed up for and they bring a lot of life and laughs to the lessons.

(Also,) the first time I saw Dorothy so swiftly yet meticulously pack her boxes and bags of equipment and the day that (class assistant) Gaurang (Garg) attempted to do the same, hilarious times!

When you are not cooking, what are your other interests? Hilarious times!

Can you share with us your favorite healthy, budget-friendly recipe with us? I love this recipe, I created it for the no/reduced salt class, it’s easy, it's tasty and just as good as leftovers!

Chicken Dumpling soup Total Time: 30 min Yield: 4 to 6 servings (about 60 mini meatballs) Ingredients Soup • 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil • 1 large onion, diced • 2 carrots, diced • 1/2 stalk celery, diced • 4 to 6 cups chicken broth • 1 cup fresh cut green beans • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley • 2 bay leaves

Dumplings • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten • 1 tablespoon 2% or skim milk • 1 tablespoon ketchup • 3/4 cup grated Romano • 2 teaspoons of no salt seasoning • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1 pound ground chicken

Directions 1. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and gently stir to combine. 2. Using teaspoon measure and form the chicken mixture, with damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs. 3. In a small amount of cooking oil, working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer. 4. Meanwhile, in another skillet, using a small amount of cooking oil, sweat the onion, carrots and celery. Add chicken, broth, green beans, celery salt, parsley and bay leaves and bring to a boil. 5. Add the meatballs to the soup base and serve.

No Salt Seasoning Total Time: 5 min Yield: Approx 1 Cup or 16 servings for seasoning Ingredients

    5 teaspoons onion powder (or flakes depending on added salt in certain brands) 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or flakes depending on added salt in certain brands) 1 tablespoon paprika 1 tablespoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon celery seed (powdered if possible)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small jar with a shaker top. Use for seasoning broiled fish, poultry, cooked vegetables, soup and stews, or place it on the table to be used individually.

Volunteer spotlight: Sam Bullock

dorothy hernandez

Chef Sam Bullock is trying to change the negative perception that nutrition is unattractive, one recipe and person at a time. A native of Detroit, Sam approached us last year about volunteering for us with an interest in working with youths. He is signed up to do a kids class this month and taught a class at Shear Head Start during the fall.

The Beverly Hills resident answered some questions for us about his career and love of cooking. Thanks for all you do, Chef Sam!

Why did you go into culinary arts? I pursued culinary arts in order to satisfy a commitment to my passion! Love of cooking has been a part of my history, beginning with cooking in the kitchen with my parents and grandparents, and on to experimenting and creating on my own throughout my later years.

Where did you go to school? I graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, with a BA in Business Administration, followed by an AAS in Culinary Arts from The Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago - Le Cordon Bleu.

Where have you worked? During my professional cooking career I have worked for many well-known Chicagoland restaurants including Charlie Trotters and Tru, as well as Metro Detroit restaurants including Shiraz, Coach Insignia, and Andiamo Italia.

What brought you to Cooking Matters? I volunteered for Cooking Matters because I see a need in sharing tools and resources designed to establish and enhance better eating habits for us all! Wellness and nutrition can be commonly viewed as difficult and unattractive. My goal is to change this perception, one person and recipe at a time if need be.

Is there a highlight from class that you would like to share? During the class I participated in at Shear Head Start there were many notable moments. One in particular was the Barley Jambalaya recipe prepared during the first class. I recall the students commenting the dish looked to have too many vegetables, not enough meat, and no salt so it couldn’t taste good. Many of the students were unfamiliar with barley in general. However when the dish was completed and tasted by the group, many liked it and could not believe we were able to create something as tasty with the small amount of ingredients on hand. I found this to be a pivotal moment in bridging the divide to better nutrition and wellness that may have existed within this group.

When you are not working, what do you like to do? In my spare time I enjoy reading, movies, and gaming. I enjoy a night out just as much as time spent at home with family and friends.

What are your favorite restaurants in the area? My favorite restaurants include Chen Chow Brasserie in Birmingham and Town Tavern in Royal Oak. My all time favorite place to eat is the annual TasteFest held in Downtown Chicago (yes! -dorothy)!

What would your last meal be? If I had to select a last meal, it would be braised beef short ribs with foie gras, micro greens, and pesto mashed potatoes, a spin on a dish prepared by a chef friend of my at the No. VI Chop House in Novi. I don't eat this dish often, and don't eat much beef for that matter, but this is my last meal, isn't it?

Grilled Salmon w/ Cilantro and Lime Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 6 minutes Servings: 2

Ingredients: • 1 T shallots, chopped • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro • 1/4 - 1/2 cup lime juice • 3/4 T olive oil • 1/4 t salt • 1/4 t freshly ground pepper • 2 (4oz) salmon fillets • 2 Fresh cilantro sprigs

Prepare: • Combine shallots, chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt & pepper in a bowl. Pour over salmon. Preheat grill to medium / medium-high; coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. • Grill on rack, covered with grill lid, 6-8 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.

Cucumber Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes Servings: 2

Ingredients: • 1 t sesame oil • 1 T rice vinegar • 1 T mirin • 1 T chopped fresh cilantro • 1/2 cucumber, scored and thinly sliced

Prepare: • Combine sesame oil, rice vinegar, mirin, and cilantro in a bowl; add cucumber and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

We love our volunteers!

jhartrick

 We've said it many times and we'll say it again: without the great volunteer chefs and nutritionists who generously donate their time to OFL Detroit, we would get nothing done! In 2009, we had a total of 41 classes. We currently have 42 classes on the books for 2010, 41 of which are before the end of May! So that means lots of volunteer hours logged. To show our hardworking volunteers some love, we threw a Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Crofoot Feb. 24. Check out some snaps from the soiree.

 

Special thanks to Chef Michael Geiger from Eastern Market who did an awesome demo on Vietnamese fresh rolls. Even our seasoned (ba-dump-bump, I slay me with my puns) chefs picked up a few new tricks and tips. Here's Michael's recipe for Vietnamese fresh rolls and dipping sauce (sorry, no pics of the rolls because we ate them all and went back for seconds).

Vietnamese Summer Rolls and Dipping Sauce

Recipe by Michael Geiger, Eastern Market

  • 6 oz rice vermicelli or rice sticks
  • 10 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienne
  • 2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 english cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienne
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • cup of fresh mint leaves
  • cup of fresh Thai basil
  • 10 rice paper wrappers ( 8 1/2 inch round)
  • cup of roasted peanuts, chopped

Procedure: 1. Cook the vermicelli in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

2. Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add chicken breast, reduce to a low simmer, and cook until opaque in center (instant-read thermometer should read 165°F when inserted into thickest part of breast). Transfer the chicken to a bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, shred chicken with hands.

3. To assemble rolls, add warm water to a large shallow bowl or pie plate. Moisten 1 wrapper in the water and place it on a clean cutting board. Place about 1/2 cup of the noodle mixture, approximately 1 oz of shredded chicken breast, some julienne carrots, julienne cucumbers, and a few cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and Thai basil in the center (add a few chopped peanuts at this point if desired.). Fold in each end of the wrapper and roll to completely enclose the filling. Repeat to make 10 rolls.

4. Slice in half and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam) 1/3 cup sugar 3 T sugar 3 T rice vinegar 2 T water 1 large garlic clove minced 2 tsp chili sauce