File | Brunch | Child’s play (3 items)

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. Around two large tables covered with colorful tablecloths, parents, grandparents and children sit down. The latter are feverish.


Is it because of the places around them? Maybe a little bit. La Fabrique famille La Cabane is a community center that looks like a huge games room with a space for crafts, a slide, a climbing wall and high hiding places. “Wow! It’s a children’s paradise! ”, we said spontaneously when we entered the vast premises located at the corner of rue Bélanger and avenue Papineau, in Montreal.

But beyond the decor, it is above all the activity planned this morning which excites the six young participants, aged approximately 3 to 10 years old. Today, they are the leaders.

In the kitchen

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Overview of locations

Smiling, they put on their aprons then wash their hands. “Children, you can come join me in the kitchen,” calls Paige Cunningham, who will guide them throughout the workshop.

The first task of the little chefs? Greet their guests and take their orders. On the menu: “lost bread (but found, fiou!)” or “crushed croissant, with eggs, feta and avocado”.

While the older children prepare the coffees, under the supervision of Sophie Duchastel de Montrouge, co-founder of La Cabane, the younger children sit around a coffee table and listen attentively to Paige Cunningham’s instructions.

They have their work cut out for them, literally and figuratively. Fifteen dishes to cook, including a few plates of vegan French toast. Each apprentice receives a slice of sandwich bread which he must dip in a mixture of vegetable drink, maple syrup and spices prepared by the La Cabane team.

“I don’t want to do it alone,” says Mila, 3 years old, shyly. “I’ll help you,” Paige Cunningham gently offers, who obviously has a way with children.

PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

Hendrick, 4 years old, and his cousin Mila, 3 years old, take part in the brunch at La Fabrique famille La Cabane.

The little girl quickly gets out of her way and participates with great enthusiasm in the next steps: breaking eggs, crushing pieces of avocado, weighing the feta, tossing the salad… Cooking the food is entrusted to the older children who, under the supervision of Sophie Duchastel from Montrouge, turn the slices of bread and stir the eggs in the different pans.

Pride and perseverance

PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

The older ones take care of cooking the food.

For almost an hour, the little chefs work in the kitchen under the admiring gaze of the families sitting nearby. “You are perseverant,” congratulates Geneviève Gagnon, Mila’s mother.

By allowing parents to witness the interactions between their young person and those in charge of the workshop, “the brunch gives them a vision of their child that they do not often have the opportunity to see”, underlines Noémie Perreault, general director of La Cabane.

PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

Paige Cunningham, Sophie Duchastel de Montrouge and Noémie Perreault

“I was surprised to see how attentive he remained throughout the activity,” confides Valérie Gagnon, mother of Hendrick, 4 years old.

“It’s the first time he’s worked in the kitchen without us. It’s quite impressive,” observes, for his part, Chris Fernandes, father of Isaiah, aged 7, “soon to be 8”, wants to point out the boy.

Lunch preparation is coming to an end. Paige Cunningham shows the younger children how to plate French toast plates. We spread a little compote, place the slices of bread, garnish everything with nuts and apples without forgetting the addition of a drizzle of maple syrup. “Go to your table, it’s almost ready!” “, says Hendrick, hopping.

PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

Lunch is served!

The good smells emanating from the kitchen whet the appetite. That’s good, it’s time for service. In turn, the children, their eyes shining with pride, will carry the plates they have prepared to their families.

And when the young chefs finally taste the fruits of their labor, it is unanimous: their lunch is the best!

What tasks should we entrust to our apprentice chefs?

PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

“Often, parents are a little afraid to let their child cook,” notes Sophie Duchastel from Montrouge.

“Often, parents are a little afraid to let their child cook. “It’s certain that a knife cuts,” notes Sophie Duchastel from Montrouge, who had a career in catering before co-founding La Fabrique famille La Cabane. However, through the various cooking workshops and day camps offered by the organization, she sees all the learning that is linked to developing her culinary skills. Here, in his eyes, are some examples of tasks that can be entrusted to young people according to their age, based on the recipes prepared during the passage of The Press.

From 2 to 5 years

  • Mash the avocados with a potato masher;
  • Cut the apples using a wooden knife designed for little hands;
  • Mix the previously measured ingredients.

From 6 to 9 years old

  • Monitor the cooking of French toast and eggs (under adult supervision);
  • Cut apples or slice bread using a real knife (under adult supervision);
  • Arrange the plates and let your creativity flow;
  • Practice your math by doubling a recipe or measuring ingredients.

From 10 years old

“Trust them!” suggests Sophie Duchastel de Montrouge. With basic instructions, they are independent enough to cook alone while you are still dozing in bed on Sunday morning! »

Visit the website of La Fabrique famille La Cabane


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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