Krista Simmons

Krista Simmons recounts her own experience with teaching children.

on Sep 19, 2012

The Hollywood HEART students were so proud of their work at camp, and I can only imagine how thrilled the participants in this episode must have been being able to work with such culinary legends. The Masters taught the blossoming young culinarians how to elevate basic home-cooked meals, and each had valuable lessons to share: Chris talked about minimizing ingredients, keeping things simple, clean, and fresh; Lorena taught them how a hearty, home-cooked meal served family-style could bring together a table of diners; and Kerry showed the students how focus, hustle, and a little tough love can pay off in the end.

Similar lessons came up at Camp Hollywood HEART. Our students learned everything from modernist technique and sushi making to knife skills and quick pickled salads, giving them the tools they need to embark on a culinary career. But the life lessons they took away were just as important as the practical ones.

During one of our guest teaching sessions, Adam Cole, who works at Top Chef alum Michael Voltaggio's restaurant Ink, came up to teach the kids kitchen science, and it was amazing to see the students, some of which have severe learning disabilities, zero in on something so complex as chemistry. If science were taught like that, I have no doubt our public school system wouldn't have such a high drop out rate. When Cole was attempting to spherify grape juice for a modern take on ants on a log, the little orbs kept busting in the sodium alginate. He calmly tweaked his ratios until finally he got it right. “Failure is part of success,” he said. “The important part is that you don't give up, and keep moving towards your goal.”