By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Children from around the area were helping to create and sample foods from around the world Saturday at the Portsmouth Area Arts Council’s International Cooking School, at the SOMC Friends Center in Portsmouth.
“We have about a hundred kids here now, and we have a little more than that coming this afternoon,” said Becky Lovins of PAAC. “This is the fifth year for the cooking school. And we have China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, France and Ireland. We have three main courses, one appetizer and two desserts.”
Lovins said the children come in and select a country. For example, if they chose Mexico to begin with, they would be creating salsa fresco and a smiling tostada. After 20 minutes they would then move on to Japan. There they would be treated to kids sushi, a candy-based sushi, learning the art without having to deal with the seafood aspect of most sushi.
The next stop would be Oscar’s, from the Holiday Inn of Portsmouth. They would follow that pattern until they made the trip around the world, either eating their creations or putting them in a to-go box. “About 90 percent of it gets eaten before they get up and move,” Lovins said.
Patsy’s Inn operates the France station; Port City Cafe offers Irish food; Chinese exchange students from Shawnee State University run the Chinese food stop, where they were also giving a lesson in the use of chopsticks; Karen Davis from Notre Dame, headed up the Mexican food station; Judy McGinnis from Oscar’s did Japanese cuisine, with the help of traditional Japanese garb; and Chris Clay, from Southern Moon Pit Bar-b-que was in the German booth.
“I also have volunteers from Portsmouth West, Portsmouth, Notre Dame, Harvest Christian and Upward Bound kids from all over the place,” Lovins said.
The school is not just for kids organizations.
“This event is open to the public,” Lovins said. “We have a lot of scout troops that come in, several home-school groups that come in together. And just parents who bring in their kids to enjoy the morning.”
“What we try and do is find recipes that the kids may have heard of, but maybe don’t know the ingredients, so when they see like a German cole slaw, they see the cabbage. They see the peppers. They see the vinegar. They see the things that go into it,” Lovins said. “Sometimes when they put it together that makes it a little easier to try.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.