South West Baltimore Charter School Chef Workshop

Chef Nina, culinary artist and healer was recently able to contribute her chef expertise to a group of kindergarten school children at Southwest Baltimore Charter School in Baltimore, MD. The eagerness of the children was immediately exhibited when Chef Nina asked “Do you know why I am here today?” and hands went flying, as the squirming kids poked their hands up hoping to be picked to give their answer. Chef Nina was able to portray her infatuation with food as a chef to the group of school kids and the importance of delectable and nutritious food. Chef Nina made the presentation very interactive by asking the children questions about food and even having them participate in a demonstration that combined the use of cooking instruments and food.

This was an amazing opportunity for Chef Nina to give back and also influence a group of young students to pursue their dreams and expand their knowledge of food. She displayed her ability as an artist, but in the realm of culinary arts and also some of her daily job requirements as CEO of The Love Dynasty and Gourmet Chef Concierge. “Can you guys tell me what this is?” asks Chef Nina raising a cucumber. The students immediately yell out “A cucumber!”. “What is it?” asks Chef Nina “A vegetable!” they expressed. The excitement they had of being able to identify the item correctly but also displayed their slight familiarity with food that is meant to nourish and fortify them properly.

Chef Nina showed them numerous foods and had them identify the foods to get the demonstration started. She showed them her chef kit that had her cooking tools and the sounds from the audience were collectively “Oohh” and “Ahhh” as the kid’s eyes got bigger and they continued to look at Chef Nina intently, holding on to her every word. Chef Nina was able to break cooking and food down for the kindergartners showing them a variety of healthy foods that taste delicious. Not only that she showed them tools they could use safely with the assistance of their parents and helped increase their knowledge of what is good to consume, the different food groups, where food actually comes from and what she does daily as a chef. With obesity being an overwhelming problem in the United States today, a presentation and discussion on food and cooking by Chef Nina was extremely beneficial for this group of five and six year olds. It is experiences like this that will help shape these children into healthy teenagers and then on into adulthood. “Thank you so much for coming in to talk with the kids. They thoroughly enjoyed it and are still talking about it!,” said kindergarten school teacher Lisa Dannenberg. If the reasons why Chef Nina loves being a chef were not clear before, they surely are now.

The quote that Chef Nina lives by says it all and expresses her belief as a chef, “I am not merely a chef because I cook, or a singer because I sing. I am an artist; I masterfully draw from my God-given talents to create a delightfully unforgettable experience."

Unforgettable it was, not just for the students, but also the teachers and Chef Nina herself. Imagine being able to take something you love and express that to others and possibly influence them to have a love for what it is you love. It is not even about the students wanting to be chefs. This experience will aid in them making healthier choices when it comes to food, but also to be more passionate about whatever it is they chose to do. Chef Nina demonstrated her passion for food and for cooking by coming to interact with these students. She exuded passion as an artist through the way she spoke. Talk about healing the world. Why not start with healing the children? Chef Nina is just getting started.

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