The Metropolitan Club in Chicago recently partnered up with Breakthrough Urban Ministries and the Club’s vendors to put on an eight-week cooking class for local seventh and eighth graders, incorporating invaluable life lessons.
Both Club General Manager Rick Kroner and Executive Chef Greg Carso were looking for ways to give back to the community when they were introduced to Breakthrough Urban Ministries at a not-for-profit presentation at the Club.
Rick had coffee with the director and visited their facility, which prompted his idea to collaborate with the organization and offer an after-school cooking class for the children.
Chef Greg put together an extensive curriculum that included everything from basic cooking techniques, safety and hygiene to reading recipes and even making homemade pasta from scratch.
Additionally, he incorporated lessons teaching ClubCorp’s Three Steps of Service (warm welcomes, magic moments and fond farewells), integrity, business etiquette, and interviewing skills.
The response and reception was wonderful and everyone Rick spoke with wanted to get involved. The Club’s vendors donated chef coats, linens and knives and every Tuesday for eight weeks, Chef Carso, Rick and employee partner volunteers drove to the facility for the classes.
The semester culminated in a memorable fashion, with the students preparing a meal for their families, a group of more than 200.
The children did everything. In addition to doing all the prepping, cooking and serving, they planned the mouth-watering menu: classic caesar salad with brioche croutons and shaved romano; four cheese baked penne pasta with fennel marinara and chicken picatta with a lemon caper butter sauce; and signature featured desserts created by the students, such as caramel and strawberry cheesecake.
As a special touch, they develped a “warm welcome” signature beverage, sparkling cider poinsettia with mango puree, and handed out “fond farewell” candy bars wrapped with their group photo.
“The kids worked so hard and stayed focused the whole evening," said Rick. “It was neat to see so many people get involved with this."
Breakthrough Urban Ministries is an organization working towards transforming East Garfield Park, a low-income community in Chicago, by providing homeless intervention for more than 1000 people annually, a fresh food pantry and an after-school youth development program.
Congratulations and Thank You to everyone who helped make this wonderful event possible!