The Best of the Buddy Cooking Classes

In celebration of the final BenGusto™ Buddy Cooking Class on Tuesday, April 28, I have compiled the best snapshots of the chefs in action from all ten lessons. These pictures represent a timeline of culinary education, memories of sweet and savory moments of great fun. I must say that these chefs are particularly photogenic, so please enjoy!

#1 – Preparing for the IB Iron Chef culinary competition by crafting pasta by hand.

Patrick, Halle, and Kelly.

Patrick, Halle, and Kelly.

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Andrew (peer buddy) bows down to the beautiful pasta shapes he helped make.

Andrew (peer buddy) bows down to the beautiful pasta shapes he helped make.

Halle and I go over the tricks to making pasta with flat dough.

Halle and I go over the tricks to making pasta with flat dough.

Marcus stirs the garlic in oil.

Marcus stirs the garlic in oil.

(from left to right) CJ, Elizabeth, and Patrick at the first BenGusto™ cooking class.

(from left to right) CJ, Elizabeth, and Patrick at the first BenGusto™ cooking class.

#2 – The IB Iron Chef culinary competition at our local high school

The BenGusto™ Buddy Team: Jair, Sam, Halle, Ben, Patrick, and CJ (from left to right).

The BenGusto™ Buddy Team: Jair, Sam, Halle, Ben, Patrick, and CJ (from left to right).

CJ drops a little basil oil on a customer's plate for extra flavor and color.

CJ drops a little basil oil on a customer’s plate for extra flavor and color.

#3 – Grilled Steak and Sweet Potatoes done three ways

(from left to right) Beth, CJ, Halle, and I discuss the importance of zesting as Beth giggles.

(from left to right) Beth, CJ, Halle, and I discuss the importance of zesting as Beth giggles.

We set up shop outside in order to season our steaks.

We set up shop outside in order to season our steaks.

Best Buddies Cooking Class March 27 Best Buddies Cooking Class March 27

Beth, Mrs. Crawford (our beloved Best Buddies director), and Penny pose for a photo.

Beth, Mrs. Crawford (our beloved Best Buddies director), and Penny pose for a photo.

We pick out our steaks.

We pick out our steaks.

CJ flips as Penny films.

CJ flips as Penny films.

#4 – The final cooking class of the 2014 school year. Pizza!

Patrick's picturesque pizza before being placed in the oven.

Patrick’s picturesque pizza before being placed in the oven.

Marcus prepares his pizza with chorizo, zucchini, tomato sauce, parmigiano, and mozzarella.

Marcus prepares his pizza with chorizo, zucchini, tomato sauce, parmigiano, and mozzarella.

The BenGusto kitchen full of pizzas flying out of the oven.

The BenGusto kitchen full of pizzas flying out of the oven.

Beth poses with a tray of pizza she helped make.

Beth poses with a tray of pizza she helped make.

The 5/8/2014 BenGusto™ Buddy Cooking Class held a pizza extravaganza!

The 5/8/2014 BenGusto™ Buddy Cooking Class held a pizza extravaganza!

Clean up

Clean up

#5 – The Buddy team regroups for the start of the 2014/2015 school year in November for a lesson on risotto.

Halle peels the butternut squash.

Halle peels the butternut squash.

Halle and Katie hold up their hands, red with beet and orange with squash.

Halle and Katie hold up their hands, red with beet and orange with squash.

Halle helps me dice the squash.

Halle helps me dice the squash.

Patrick pours the rice in the pot.

Patrick pours the rice in the pot.

Buddy Cooking Class-Dinner Together

#6 – The chefs bring down the intensity a notch, and celebrate the holiday season with festive cookies!

Happy holidays to all!

Happy holidays to all!

Robert used a good amount of that red gel pen on his cookies.

Robert used a good amount of that red gel pen on his cookies.

I love this scene. There is so much going on! The animation reminds me of Da Vinci's "Last Supper."

I love this scene. There is so much going on! The animation reminds me of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”

Focused on decorating. Sprinkles, sugars, candies, icing pens, and almond slices are going on these cookies.

Focused on decorating. Sprinkles, sugars, candies, icing pens, and almond slices are going on these cookies.

Halle and I dance to holiday classics.

Halle and I dance to holiday classics.

BenGusto Buddy Cooking Class - Holiday Cookies

Robert, Katie, Halle, and Aly decorate vigorously.

Robert, Katie, Halle, and Aly decorate vigorously.

#7 – The team travels across the Pacific into the land of Japanese cuisine, exploring the art of making noodles with mushroom, ginger, lemongrass, and tofu.

Halle adds her crushed garlic to the pot as CJ continues to stir.

Halle adds her crushed garlic to the pot as CJ continues to stir.

Ms. Dixon (my business teacher) and I try to take a selfie at the table. Bad manners.

Ms. Dixon (my business teacher) and I try to take a selfie at the table. Bad manners.

Buddies Halle and Kelly

Buddies Halle and Kelly

I think I photobombed Robert's signature pose here.

I think I photobombed Robert’s signature pose here.

CJ finishes pouring in the first of our main vegetables: the green snow peas.

CJ finishes pouring in the first of our main vegetables: the green snow peas.

I really like the light captured in this photo. The steam rising around CJ's hand, the wooden spoon, and, of course, the "BenGusto" title under the spotlight.

I really like the light captured in this photo. The steam rising around CJ’s hand, the wooden spoon, and, of course, the “BenGusto” title under the spotlight.

(from left to right) Robert, Chris, and Andrew

(from left to right) Robert, Chris, and Andrew

#8 – ¡Olé! A beautiful Spanish tapas night on a cold day in February.

As CJ blends the tonnato sauce, I dangle an anchovy in front of Patrick.

As CJ blends the tonnato sauce, I dangle an anchovy in front of Patrick.

Halle, Andrew, Aly, Penny, and Patrick prepare their vegetable skewers.

Halle, Andrew, Aly, Penny, and Patrick prepare their vegetable skewers.

Penny, Halle, Aly, Robert, and Andrew

Penny, Halle, Aly, Robert, and Andrew

The gang is all here!

The gang is all here!

Andrew and Robert posing with the first plate of tapas.

Andrew and Robert posing with the first plate of tapas.

#9 – An Italian-American classic: spaghetti and meatballs, but with a twist of asparagus…

Marcus and I mix the meatball ingredients together. We used half ground turkey and half ground beef for texture and greater depth of flavor.

Marcus and I mix the meatball ingredients together. We used half ground turkey and half ground beef for texture and greater depth of flavor.

(from left to right) Marcus, Andrew, CJ, Chris, Halle, and Aly roll out the meatballs.

(from left to right) Marcus, Andrew, CJ, Chris, Halle, and Aly roll out the meatballs.

Andrew and Lorenzo set the table outside.

Andrew and Lorenzo set the table outside.

Buddies Aly and Halle pick basil to be used in our tomato sauce, and in our meatballs.

Buddies Aly and Halle pick basil to be used in our tomato sauce, and in our meatballs.

Chris, Robert, Marcus, and Andrew play soccer while the others put the finishing touches on our meal.

Chris, Robert, Marcus, and Andrew play soccer while the others put the finishing touches on our meal.

CJ stirs the fresh tomato sauce like a professional.

CJ stirs the fresh tomato sauce like a professional.

Buon appetito!

Buon appetito!

#10 – The final BenGusto™ Buddy Cooking Class: Pizza (of course)!

I tell Beth to toss a ball of dough across the working table. She laughs, and then does it.

I tell Beth to toss a ball of dough across the working table. She laughs, and then does it.

CJ, Marcus, and Katie. CJ rolls out his dough with a rolling pin.

CJ, Marcus, and Katie. CJ rolls out his dough with a rolling pin.

Robert, Penny, CJ, Marcus, Katie and Halle. Marcus is doing his signature finger pose here.

Robert, Penny, CJ, Marcus, Katie and Halle. Marcus is doing his signature finger pose here.

I give a demo on spreading the pizza dough. This was the most difficult task. After many rips and fold-overs, we managed to make half-circle and half-square pizzas.

I give a demo on spreading the pizza dough. This was the most difficult task. After many rips and fold-overs, we managed to make half-circle and half-square pizzas.

Robert and his pizza of mozzarella, tomato, fennel, basil, onion, and arugula. A delicious spring vegetable dish!

Robert and his pizza of mozzarella, tomato, fennel, basil, onion, and arugula. A delicious spring vegetable dish!

Halle made the most creative pizza of the night (and my favorite). She meticulously placed fennel leaves on the border of a sauce-less focaccia pizza, and then topped it with olive oil, tuna, fennel, arugula, and caramelized onion.

Halle made the most creative pizza of the night (and my favorite). She meticulously placed fennel leaves on the border of a sauce-less focaccia pizza, and then topped it with olive oil, tuna, fennel, arugula, and caramelized onion.

Katie and Robert made one of the simplest, yet most beautiful, pizzas of the evening.

Katie and Robert made one of the simplest, yet most beautiful, pizzas of the evening.

Lorenzo shows off his muscles. Lorenzo was a little late to class, so we unfortunately don't have many pictures of him.

Lorenzo shows off his muscles. Lorenzo was a little late to class, so we unfortunately don’t have many pictures of him.

The Final BenGusto Buddy Cooking Class: Pizza and Goodbyes

 

 

2 responses on “The Best of the Buddy Cooking Classes

  1. It has been a lot of fun to have the group around our kitchen all these years! Thank you Ben for bringing your buddies to our home.

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