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Gourmet Cooking for Kids at Armonk Rec Center

ARMONK, N.Y. – A group of Wampus School fifth graders enjoyed the Gourmet Cooking for Kids program at the Hegenhan Recreation Center Tuesday afternoon.

Amy Ahlert, a former professional chef and owner of a Westchester cafe, instructed the kids, who prepared two desserts, black and white chocolate chip cookies and a strawberry lemon mélange with fresh whipped cream.

It was the fourth class in an eight-week program and according to Ahlert, every fourth week they have sweets. She prefers preparing Italian and French entrees, like the pasta amatriciana dish the class made last week.

Ahlert said she enjoys teaching kids to cook but that it's a challenge.

"For them the difficulty is motor skills, like chopping," Ahlert said. "Also recognizing different herbs and vegetables and introducing them to things they've never eaten before."

She has three rules for the kids: No one can say anything mean, no one can say “eew” before they taste the food and everyone waits to eat until all are served. Ahlert said the rules teach manners and discipline and keep prejudice out of the room.

"We have fun, we sing in class, the kids designed place mats and wrote out fantasy menus," Ahlert said.

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