Teen chefs hone their skills at Thyme to Cook for Teens

Matthew Leon and Isaac McCannan carve roasted chicken during Thyme to Cook for Teens Cooking Academy on July 7. (Contributed)

Matthew Leon and Isaac McCannan carve roasted chicken during Thyme to Cook for Teens Cooking Academy on July 7. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—The aroma of freshly roasted chicken and parmesan broccoli wafted through the halls of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen on July 7, as students in the Thyme to Cook for Teens Cooking Academy put the finishing touches on their scratch-made meal.

Throughout the week, students in the Thyme to Cook for Teens Cooking Academy learn to create a variety of full, healthy and nutrient-rich meals.

“It’s more teaching, more instruction,” St. Vincent’s One Nineteen registered dietician Donna Sibley said. “This is more technique based.”

With the guidance and instruction of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen registered dietician Jessica Cox, the students perfected the basics of cooking styles such as braising, roasting and grilling.

“They’re learning the basics of different kinds of cooking methods,” Cox said. “(Today they learned) the nutritional benefits of roasting, why it’s a healthy cooking option.”

Each day, students put their newly learned skills to the test, creating a meal for themselves as well as members of the St. Vincent’s One Nineteen community. Throughout the week, employees of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen had the opportunity to purchase a student-made lunch for $5 per plate. All money raised benefits the St. Vincent’s Foundation.

On July 7, the students honed their roasting skills, cooking a meal of herb roasted farm chicken, roasted parmesan broccoli and tangy potato, green bean and tomato salad. For dessert, they baked a strawberry tart.

At the end of the week-long program, Cox said she hopes her students feel confident and knowledgeable in the kitchen.

“(I hope they get) a basic understanding of healthy cooking skills so they’re equipped to cook healthy,” Cox said. “Cooking is what we need to learn in order to live healthy.”

“The main reason I was here is to pick up some skills,” rising 10th grader Isaac McCannan said, adding what he’s learned has helped him to be creative in the kitchen.