Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Fourth-grader Lukas McLean (right) and seventh-grader Illiana Simons win first prize in their respective age groups during the "Kids in the Kitchen" contest

Olney Trains ‘Kids in the Kitchen’

Story by Debra Anderson

Prior to COVID-19, 25 students, ages 8–13, from Potomac Conference's Olney Adventist Preparatory School (Md.) and the Olney (Md.) church enrolled in a cooking class to help develop their culinary skills. The children were excited to learn the basics of food preparation while fixing healthy meals and discovering new foods. COVID-19, however, forced the cooking class to be held via Zoom for a year. Still, the students did not lose their enthusiasm. They continued to meet every month, concocting new dishes to share with their family and friends.

As a final end-of-year celebration, school administrators held a “Kids in the Kitchen” contest. Fourth-grader Lukas McLean and seventh-grader Illiana Simons won first prize in their respective age groups.

“I’m really glad that I was able to participate in this competition,” says McLean. “I am grateful for my mother who practiced with me beforehand. ... Even though being a professional chef is not my goal, I do enjoy cooking, and it’s a hobby I really like.”

Simons says, “The competition tested my skills and creativity. I learned some new flavor combinations to help improve my cooking. It was also fun trying my friends’ recipes. Winning was great, but the experience itself was the most rewarding.”

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